Belfast Telegraph

Chris Evans loses 400,000 radio show listeners after quitting Top Gear

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show had 9.06 million people listening in the third quarter of 2016.

Chris Evans' radio show has lost more than 400,000 listeners since he quit Top Gear.

The 50-year-old host announced he was stepping down from the motoring programme back in July (16), following disappointing ratings and criticism of his presenting style, and it seems his decision has had a knock-on effect on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show.

The latest figures released by audience research body Rajar show that while The Chris Evans Breakfast Show had 9.47 million listeners tuning in per week in the second quarter of 2016, the third quarter had just 9.06 million listening. Comparatively, Evans' show received 9.42 million listeners in the third quarter of last year (15).

Top Gear was marred in controversy before it even aired its first episode and ended its run with the lowest audience of its current series, according to figures released by the BBC. It averaged 1.9 million viewers for its final episode, a mere 8.6 per cent of the available audience.

Evans hosted the motoring show with former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc and it faced a lot of criticism when it returned to screens in May (16), after undergoing a makeover following the departure of former presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

Chris was accused of being "too shouty", and there were calls for racing driver Jenson Button, who appeared in a segment on the second episode, to replace him.

Chris defended the show, insisting those criticising it didn't represent the show's much wider, and more loyal, fan base.

"I find it hilarious that people who have never made a show in their lives then presume what is right and what is wrong with the making of a television programme," he told BuzzFeed.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinions, course they are... Those people have a loudhailer and that's fine, and by the way, bring it on. That's what I expected."

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