A BBC boss has spoken out to give his verdict on the newly revamped Top Gear, as ratings for the long-running motoring show have been in sharp decline ever since the first episode hosted by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
For some perspective, the first episode of the new series attracted 4.3 million overnight viewers, whereas the most recent episode (19 June) hovered around the 2.3 million mark.
Despite these plummeting ratings, constant criticism targeting the new presenters and format, and speculation that the programme could be axed; there are no plans to put the brakes on the series yet.
In fact, BBC executives are reportedly satisfied with the show’s performance to date.
Alan Tyler, the acting controller of entertainment commissioning, remarked: “We are four episodes into the new Top Gear era with its new presenting line up, and remain really pleased with the way the series is performing.
“(Sunday) night’s episode was another great watch and yet again was easily the biggest show of the day on BBC Two.
“Being up against a major sporting event is always tough and that is partly why the series is performing so brilliantly on catch up and BBC iPlayer.”
Tyler’s comments come after Bookmakers Betway claimed that the motoring series may be scrapped unless ratings pick up, since every Clarkson era episode managed to score greater viewing figures than these latest statistics.
Top Gear still has some fuel left in the tank though, as the bookmaker offered a 4/7 chance of the show’s return with another series hosted by Chris Evans.
Plus, the topical gags are going down a treat with audiences, as many people praised Matt LeBlanc’s hilarious Brexit joke during the last episode.
Top Gear continues on Sunday (26 June) at 8pm.