Evans quits Top Gear

July 5th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Top Gear’s new host Chris Evans has quit after just one season, a day after reports of a police investigation into claims of sexual assault.

Evans took to Twitter to announce his resignation overnight, saying: “Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough”.

He made no mention of newspaper reports a day earlier that he would soon be interviewed by London’s Metropolitan Police over a former colleague’s allegations that he groped her and exposed himself to her and other staff at a workplace in the 1990s.

Evans was cited as the cause of a ratings plummet on the rebooted show, amid reports of a feud between him and co-host Matt LeBlanc, of Friends fame.

Just 1.9 million viewers tuned in for its final episode of the season on Sunday night. Its premiere in May drew 4.4 million viewers – still well down from about 5.8 million who tuned in during previous seasons hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

His resignation will have nothing to do with the historic claims, but all to do with massively low ratings and LeBlanc falling out with him.

There’s hope for future seasons with LeBlanc who has been excellent.

More trouble for Top Gear

June 27th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Matt LeBlanc has threatened to quit as Top Gear host if Chris Evans is not sacked.

Reports suggest that the former Friends actor is becoming increasingly frustrated with how rude his co-presenter is with the staff on set and has told producers that they can no longer work together.

The revelations are said to have rocked the BBC and could leave them having to pick between the pair, with filming for the second series due to start in September.

A show source said: “The big question now is who goes and who stays.”

Almost everyone says LeBlanc is the strongest host followed by Sabine. Yet Evans is the main host. How would it look if they dropped him?

Flop Gear

May 31st, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

Top Gear returned to our screens with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc at the helm- but fans of the show turned off as it attracted its lowest opening show viewing figures in a decade and was widely panned on social media. 

The show drew 4.4 million viewers, with a peak of 4.7 million, while the last series with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May bowed out with 5.8 million viewers.

Evans said last week he would be ‘disappointed’ if the show attracted under 5 million viewers.

“If we had to guess about the number of viewers we are going to get on Sunday night, you have got to say you would be disappointed if it was under 5 million. Five million-plus would be great, after that it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Evans today claimed figures showed the Top Gear had officially been a hit,  claiming it had taken 23 per cent of the audience share and that it was the most watched item on iPlayer.

The reviews have ranged from awful to okay. If they couldn’t get 5 million for their first episode, I doubt they will for any others.

May and Hammond stay with Clarkson

April 2nd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

James May and Richard Hammond are out of contract with the BBC, after declining to sign new deals to present the next series of Top Gear.

The pair are now free agents, meaning rival broadcasters can approach them with job offers.

 

The three of them together will be a very lucrative package.

It won’t be called Top Gear, but a motoring show with them will appear somewhere.

The Top Gear burqa controversy

December 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

The presenters of motoring show Top Gear have caused controversy after dressing in burqas while filming an episode in the Middle East.

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond disguised themselves as women in a Christmas show filmed in Syria.

The Boxing Day episode, broadcast in Britain, featured the hosts driving across the Middle East to trace the path of the Three Wise Men.

However, Muslims in Britain said the show mocked their religion.

Islamic activist Anjem Choudary told the Daily Mail the burqa was a “symbol of our religion and people should not make jokes about it in any way”.

Bzzzt. Wrong answer. No religion should be so intolerent that its adherents demand no jokes be made about it.

Personally the show sounds hilarious, and it would have been equally funny if they had dressed up as Orthodox Jews and driven through Israel. Guess there would be less complaints.

The Stig revealed

August 23rd, 2010 at 6:01 am by David Farrar

news.com.au reports:

NEW evidence has reportedly unmasked the mystery racing driver known as The Stig who appears in “Top Gear” disguised in a white helmet and black visor.

Documents naming a former Formula Three driver called Ben Collins, 35, point to his being the famous anonymous figure, NewsCore reports.

Collins had been suspected for some time anyway, after he was named as a consultant to the show in a report on the Richard Hammond crash in 2006.