Chris Evans leaves Top Gear, investigated over ’90s sexual assaults allegations
In news that is not unexpected and will delight the show’s many fans, Chris Evans has officially stepped down from Top Gear.
Here’s Chris’ tweet announcing the move:
This was confirmed by TopGear.com which added this statement from Chris: “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.”
There was no further comment from the site on plans to revise the presenters, saying only: “Everyone at TopGear.com wishes Chris all the best for the future.”
This move is not a surprise. Ever since Evans was announced as the new lead there have been a continuous stream of rumours suggesting that Evans is deeply unpopular with the show’s staff and co-presenters, culminating recently with apparent #2 co-host Matt Le Blanc stating that either Evans goes, or he does. Evans was also unpopular with the viewers, who didn’t warm to his shouty style or lack of knowledge of cars, and there was concerns he was trying to carry too many other commitments.
We speculate that with six presenters left there’s no need to recruit another seventh, and that Matt Le Blanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid will be given more airtime as all three have impressed viewers. It could well be that Evans’ departure was a bit rushed and there wasn’t the chance to consider the rest of the lineup; but regardless, Top Gear should be improved from now on and given a chance to resettle before making further changes.
UPDATE: It appears Chris Evans is being investigated over sexual assault dating back to the 1990s, according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, which means he would be the latest in a line of high-profile British celebrities hit with such allegations from their past. That cannot have helped his case to stay on at Top Gear. However, the presenter is set to retain his other BBC commitments.