Chris Evans has tried his best to make 2016 a little less horrific by quitting Top Gear. The presenter has been roundly and constantly criticised for his, ahem, Marmite personality and presenting style, and with the show's viewing figures falling to an all-time low last night, the announcement comes as no surprise.
“I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last twelve months," said Evans, who will continue in his role as the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show presenter. "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.”
To say Evans has found it tough to replace Jeremy Clarkson would be an epic understatement. The Shouty One is widely considered to be the worst part of the revamped show, and reports of a feud with instant fan-favourite Matt LeBlanc haven't helped his cause.
“Chris is stepping down from his duties on Top Gear," said Mark Linsey, the director of BBC Studios. "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.
Now to speculate about who his replacement will be. Coo at your screen for Roy Hodgson, jabber incoherently if you're on Team Boris, gather your own fleet of ships for Farage and raise a ham flag for Dave. Nobody else can be considered. We'll do our best to count the votes. [BBC]