Belfast Telegraph

Top Gear's ratings drop by nearly 2m

By Lucy Mapstone

Despite largely positive reviews from fans, the return of Top Gear failed to impress in the ratings as it was seen by nearly two million fewer viewers than its series debut last year.

However, the BBC Two motoring programme was up against the penultimate episode of BBC One's popular period drama Call The Midwife in the Sunday 8pm timeslot.

Top Gear, which has been revamped with Matt Le Blanc at the helm alongside co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid, was watched by an average of 2.8m people, according to overnight data, while Call The Midwife was seen by an average of 8.9m.

These initial figures do not account for those watching on catch-up at a later time.

Top Gear's series launch in 2016 - with Chris Evans and Le Blanc as new presenters following the departure of long-running hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May - had scored 4.4m viewers overnight.

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