Chris Evans is resigning from his role as lead presenter of the BBC’s Top Gear television program following harsh criticism from viewers and a severe ratings drop, the broadcaster’s news arm reported July 4.
“Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough,” Evans tweeted, adding, “I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause.”
The decision was Evans’, apparently; he told the BBC last week he would not be returning for the next season of Top Gear, which begins filming in September. The BBC has confirmed the other co-hosts – Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan – will be part of that program, though.
“He [Evans] texted me what he’s written for his newspaper column and he’s described himself as a square peg in a round hole and I think that pretty much sums it up,” Vassos Alexander, sports presenter on Evans’s BBC Radio 2 show, told the BBC.
The July 3 episode of Top Gear marked the season finale and also the season’s lowest viewership numbers, at an average audience of just 1.9 million. That’s about half the number of viewers at which it debuted earlier this year.
Evans will retain all of his other posts with the BBC, which include a radio show and a written newspaper column. He also said he will always remain a fan of Top Gear.