Chris Evans quits Top Gear

Host Chris Evans announced on Monday that he was stepping down from Top Gear.
Host Chris Evans announced on Monday that he was stepping down from Top Gear.PHOTO: BBC

LONDON • Host Chris Evans announced on Monday that he was stepping down from Top Gear, the popular BBC entertainment show whose mix of cars and testosterone-fuelled antics had attracted a global following.

He had joined the show in June last year after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson and wrote on Twitter: "Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough."

In a statement, he said: "I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last 12 months. I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause."

The show, featuring Evans and Matt LeBlanc, the former Friends star, has been struggling with sagging ratings.

In March last year, Clarkson's contract was not renewed after he was accused of attacking BBC producer Oisin Tymon following a late-night drinking session.

Mr Mark Linsey, the director of BBC Studios, said in a statement: "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 Telegraph in Britain reported on Monday that sexual assault accusations against Evans by a female former colleague were being investigated by the Metropolitan Police. He denied the allegations, The Telegraph said.

Observers suggested that Evans should have done more to shake up the show's format after Clarkson's departure.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'Chris Evans quits Top Gear'. Print Edition | Subscribe