► Chris Evans to quit Top Gear TV
► He leaves after just one series
► 'My best shot was just not enough'
Chris Evans has shocked petrolheads across the world by quitting the newly relaunched Top Gear TV show after just one series.
The veteran broadcaster made the announcement on Twitter - one day after the first post-Clarkson-era series ended, as Top Gear ratings slumped to just 1.9 million.
The season opener managed 4.4m, according to official overnight viewing figures (which do not include catch-up and iPlayer streams). The Clarkson/Hammond/May era consistently produced bigger audiences, peaking at 8 million in the aftermath of Hammond's near-death experience in a jet-propelled racer.
How Chris Evans resigned from Top Gear
Evans tweeted: '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.'
The Guardian reported that Evans will receive one third of his three-year remuneration package for Top Gear. It is understood that Matt LeBlanc, Evans's co-presenter in the new era, is only on a one-year contract. Filming for the next season is scheduled to start in September 2016.
Click here to read how we reported Chris Evans's signing for Top Gear back in June 2015.
We will be reporting live reaction to Evans's departure from around the world. Stay tuned for more updates below.
Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios
'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.'
Stuart Heritage, Guardian columnist
'Really, the surprise isn’t that Chris Evans has quit Top Gear. The surprise is that he even hosted it in the first place. Top Gear – at least the latest non-boring, non-serious, non-Angela Rippon version that’s existed since 2002 – is Jeremy Clarkson’s show. He created it. He presented it. He threaded his voice through it indelibly. He made his fortune from it. Whoever was tasked with replacing him, after he punched a man about some meat, was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Jesus Christ himself could have descended from heaven, presented a note-perfect Christmas special about driving a Mazda to Madagascar, and Clarkson fans – the gimps in BMW fleeces who own every book the man ever wrote, like The World’s Gone Mad and Here’s What Gets My Goat and Tediously Contrary Opinions in Exchange for Cash – would have hated him on sight.'
Source: The Guardian
Road and Track magazine, USA
'We can only hope this means more Rory Reid and Chris Harris in Season 24.'
Source: Road & Track
Perry McCarthy, the original Stig
'Chris is an enormously popular radio presenter and TV show host but he hasn't quite gelled with this show, he's not really gelling with the viewers. It must be a little bit painful for him to receive this reaction from everybody and I don't think he'd want to continue - I probably wouldn't want to continue if I was getting constant criticism either.'
Source: BBC News
Chris Evans, in a more detailed statement
'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.'
Source: Chris Evans
Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes bookmakers
‘Evans had a rough ride as Top Gear host and the early betting points towards Guy Martin or Steve Coogan filling the void, with the latter a near certainty to help ratings rocket. It's safe to say Dermot O'Leary would be the housewives' favourite but his time may have been and gone already.’
Vassos Alexander, sports presenter on Evans's BBC Radio 2 show
'I know that he was massively honoured and privileged to work on Top Gear... 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.'
Source: BBC News