Car Culture

Chris Evans spins out of 'Top Gear'

Evans drops out after ratings dip, but it looks like Matt LeBlanc will return for the next series.

BBC World Wide/Alex Howe

Chris Evans has quit "Top Gear" after weeks of rumours and falling ratings.

The presenter and Radio 2 DJ, who hosted the new series alongside a team of new presenters, announced that he was stepping down just one day after the first season of the revamped motoring show came to an end this weekend.

Evans took over the globally watched car show after popular hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left, but drew flak from press and viewers. Ratings for the new series dipped below 2 million viewers for the final show, prompting him to withdraw early from his three-year contract.

"Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough," Evans tweeted today. "The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best."

Evans was dogged by press reports of tension on set, not to mention rumours of lewd conduct dating back to the 1990s.

Co-host Matt LeBlanc is expected to stay with the show for the next series, which begins filming in September. The rest of the new team have earned praise, particularly Chris Harris and former CNET journalist Rory Reid, who presents online spin-off show "Extra Gear".