Sunday 23 October 2016

Chris Evans quits Top Gear

News comes as Evans is reportedly set to face police probe over historic allegation of sexual assault

Published 04/07/2016 | 15:26

The new Top Gear series, helmed by Chris Evans, has seen its audience increase for the first time
The new Top Gear series, helmed by Chris Evans, has seen its audience increase for the first time

Chris Evans has quit Top Gear.

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The presenter revealed today that he was "stepping down from Top Gear".

Taking to Twitter, he said: "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 TV and radio host said he would continue with his other BBC commitments, including presenting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show.

"Full steam ahead then with Radio 2, CarFest, Children In Need, 500 Words and whatever else we can dream up in the future," he said.

BBC posted an official statement on their website to address the shock resignation:“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."

Evans added: “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.”

The car show has achieved disappointing ratings, and was marred in controversy before it even aired its first episode.

Top Gear's audience fell to a new low of fewer than two million viewers as the new series stalled again in the ratings with its latest episode.

Sunday's finale of the rebooted first series, which featured Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey, drew an average of 1.9 million people and an 8.7 per cent share of the available viewing audience.

Overall, the show has failed to reach the viewing figures of the last series with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May at the helm.

The popular former Top Gear trio bowed out with 5.8 million viewers.

It has yet to be revealed whether any of Chris's co-presenters including Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid will return or not, or if the show will be back for a second series.

The news comes as Evans is reportedly set to face a police probe over an historic allegation of sexual assault. The BBC radio 2 presenter has been accused of grabbing the breasts of a female colleague in the 1990s.

Evans has not made any comment on the allegations of sexual assault. He previously denied the claims saying that they amounted to a “witch hunt”.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed they are investigating an historic allegation of sexual assault.

In a statement obtained by the Daily Telegraph, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “An allegation of non-recent sexual assault was made to police on May 23. The allegation was made by a woman against a man, and relates to incidents in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s. There have been no arrests and no person has been interviewed under caution.”

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