In some rather unexpected news, the BBC have revealed that the Top Gear reboot was actually performing better globally than when the former trio hosted.
This comes only nine days after Chris Evans quit the show amid flailing ratings, describing himself as ‘a square peg in a round hole’ in a column in the Daily Mail.
Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) July 4, 2016
It might have been getting a lukewarm reception from punters in the UK, but the Beeb say the show has done well internationally under Evans and former Friends star Matt LeBlanc.
Speaking to The Guardian, BBC Worldwide boss Tim Davie said:
I am very happy with programme sales. [Chris Evans’s Top Gear] has sold into over 130 territories which is very strong and marginal growth versus the previous season [Clarkson’s last].
Top Gear is believed to be the BBC’s biggest global brand, with sales of the TV show, DVDs, books, live shows and other merchandise thought to be worth more than a staggering £50 million a year.
Despite Davie admitting that the show had had its fair share of ‘ups and downs’ with the ratings, he added that the new reboot is still ‘a work in progress’.
We will have to see how it goes. I remain optimistic about Top Gear and its growth potential over the coming years.
Radio 2 DJ Evans took over Top Gear as host after Clarkson was sacked for punching a producer on the show.
Evans and LeBlanc were joined by Sabine Schmitz, Rory Reid, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan – who are all believed to be staying put for the next series.