Belfast Telegraph

ITV 'axe Drive after falling rating figures'

ITV has reportedly axed show Drive after just one series following falling ratings after the controversy surrounding host Vernon Kay's personal life.

ITV has axed Drive after just one series, according to reports.

The car racing show, which was launched in April (16), features celebrities such as Professor Green, Louis Walsh and Ella Eyre competing on the track.

It had been hoped it would be a worthy competitor for BBC's Top Gear, but failed to pull in viewers with an average of just 1.5 million people tuning in.

ITV's prime-time show did even worse in the ratings than Car Crash Britain: Caught on Camera - a CCTV programme that was in the same Tuesday, 9pm, slot earlier this year (16).

Host Vernon Kay's personal life also reportedly contributed to the show's distinct lack of popularity reports The Sun newspaper.

Vernon, who is married to Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly, was accused of texting glamour model Rhian Sugden in a similar scandal to the one that they faced in 2010.

"Viewing figures have been appalling and Vernon hasn’t done any favours for the show following his sex text shame," a source told the publication.

"Unsurprisingly, ITV aren’t bringing it back for a second run."

Following Vernon hitting the headlines, ITV tried to cut his screen time by giving his co-host British Touring Car champion Jason Plato more of a leading role. However, viewers continued switching off and the show has lost more than 500,000 viewers since its launch.

Several viewers tweeted that Vernon's drama was the reason for them tuning out, with one writing: "Was gonna watch Drive but not bothering now love rat Vernon/vermin is hosting."

The final of Drive aired on Tuesday night, with Johnny Vegas, Angus Deayton, Professor Green and Colin Jackson all vying for the crown.

Weather presenter Laura Tobin was brought back as a wildcard, but it was rapper Professor Green who was eventually victorious.

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