Top Gear’s Chris Evans steps down after one series

The good, the bad and the ugly: Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans and The Stig
The good, the bad and the ugly: Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans and The Stig

Top Gear presenter Chris Evans has announced he is stepping down from the show after just one series.

The 50-year-old has come in for stinging criticism since he took over the unenviable task of replacing Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC show after he was fired last year.

Fronted by Evans and American actor Mat LeBlanc, ratings have slumped since the first episode of the reboot and just 1.9 million viewers tuned in for the grand finale - fewer than an Antiques Roadshow repeat.

The BBC’s director Mark Linsey, released a statement today saying: “Chris is stepping down from his duties on Top Gear.

“He says he gave it his best shot doing everything he could to make the show a success.

“He firmly believes that the right people remain, on both the production team and presenting team to take the show forward and make it the hit we want it to be.

“The new series has so far notched up over 30m views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide.”

Chris Evans said: “I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last twelve 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.”

After Jeremy Clarkson was kicked off the show, fellow co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May vowed not to carry on without him.

The trio are now set to present a new car show together on Amazon Prime, starting later this year.