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Top Gear's new host Chris Evans defends debut show

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Top Gear presenter Chris Evans  arrives at a press conference during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story SHOWBIZ TopGear. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Top Gear presenter Chris Evans arrives at a press conference during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story SHOWBIZ TopGear. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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Top Gear presenter Chris Evans arrives at a press conference during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story SHOWBIZ TopGear. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Chris Evans has hit back after viewers slammed his Top Gear debut.

The revamped BBC Two show returned to TV screens on Sunday night with Evans and former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc at the helm.

Viewers were quick to criticise the motoring show on social media, with many of the comments referring to Evans' "shouty" and "too excitable" hosting style.

However, Evans has now taken to Twitter to defend the show, suggesting in a series of posts that he was satisfied with how the first episode went.

He wrote: "The new Top Gear is a hit. OFFICIALLY. 23% audience share. 12% MORE than the opening episode of the last series. These are the FACTS."

The star's next post said: "Top Gear audience grew throughout the hour. FACT. Won its slot. FACT. Still number one on iPlayer. FACT. These are THE FACTS folks."

Sunday night's instalment kicked off with a light-hearted dig at former frontman Jeremy Clarkson, who was sacked for an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on a producer, apparently over catering.

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During Evans' opening segment he introduced a group of people from an Indian restaurant and asked the audience what they thought they were doing there.

One person suggested they were there to prepare the food, and Evans (50) said: "By the way, we don't talk about catering on this show any more."

Chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Jesse Eisenberg became the first celebrities on the leaderboard after racing a Mini Cooper around the track.

Within minutes of Top Gear starting viewers on social media were expressing their dismay.

There were calls for the return of Clarkson and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May.

The popular trio will be back with a new Amazon Prime motoring show called The Grand Tour, which will make its debut on the streaming service in the autumn."

Ratings released yesterday show that the Top Gear episode failed to reach the viewing figures of the last series.


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