Saturday 10 December 2016

New Top Gear line-up sees audience increase for first time

Published 27/06/2016 | 11:41

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

The Top Gear audience grew for the first time since the new series began, with an average of 2.7 million people tuning in to Sunday's episode.

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The show saw an improvement on the 2.3 million who tuned in last week.

Sunday's episode, which featured guests Jennifer Saunders and Paul Hollywood, peaked with 3 million viewers.

The show has seen a constant tumble in ratings since the new series began with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc at the helm.

It debuted to 4.4 million viewers on May 29, but plummeted to 2.8 million in the second outing, 2.4 million in the third and 2.3 million last week.

The improvement in last night's viewership gave the show a 12.5% share of the audience, a boost from the 10.4% it drew last week.

Overnight ratings show that the Euro 2016 clash between Hungary and Belgium on BBC One pulled in 5.7 million and 26.6% of the audience at the same time.

If England beat Iceland in their clash tonight, qualifying them to play next Sunday, Top Gear will be moved from 8pm into an earlier timeslot of 6.30pm to allow viewers to watch the motoring programme before tuning into the match.

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

The popular trio bowed out with 5.8 million viewers.

The new presenting team joined after the old team left following a fracas between lead presenter Clarkson and a producer over hot food.

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