Things haven’t exactly gone smoothly for the relaunch of the hit car show “Top Gear,” with the latest development being the exit of Chris Evans. Evans has been the lead host on the BBC show, replacing Jeremy Clarkson after Clarkson was fired for punching one of the show’s producers.
Autoweek reports that Evans announced he’s leaving the show, an announcement that follows “reports of a slump in ratings and less-than-ideal chemistry between Evans and the other cast members,” the story notes.
Evans posted Monday on his Twitter account: “Stepping down from ‘Top Gear.’ Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team is beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.”
He later placed a statement on the show’s website saying: “I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last 12 months. I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause. I remain a huge fan of the show, always have been, always will be. I will continue to focus on my radio show and the allied events that it encompasses.”
As we reported last week, bad blood apparently existed between Evans and another high-profile host on the show, former “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc. LeBlanc reportedly presented producers with an ultimatum, saying one of the two had to go.
“Evans did not cite a cause for his departure after weeks of insisting that everything was going smoothly, but his decision is seen as his own acceptance that he was not a good fit for the show,” Autoweek notes. “There are no indications that Evans was pushed out by the producers and the network due to a slump in ratings, which hit a low mark several weeks ago that had not been seen since a 2003 episode with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.”
The U.S. version of “Top Gear,” which launched on History in 2010, was canceled withing the past couple of weeks, as we reported previously.
Here’s a recent teaser for the BBC’s “Top Gear” featuring LeBlanc and Evans — before word got out about their friction …