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Chris Evans was wrong to quit Top Gear says comedian Paddy McGuinness


Neil Morrissey joins Paddy McGuinness for Stars In Their Cars (The Travel Channel/PA)

Neil Morrissey joins Paddy McGuinness for Stars In Their Cars (The Travel Channel/PA)

Neil Morrissey joins Paddy McGuinness for Stars In Their Cars (The Travel Channel/PA)

Comedian Paddy McGuinness has said Chris Evans was wrong to quit Top Gear after just one series, and added that criticism is just part of television.

McGuinness, who is about to host his own car show, said he thought Evans was a good host and growing a thick skin is crucial to the job.

Evans quit Top Gear earlier this year following plummeting ratings and poor reviews, saying he gave it his best shot but it was "not enough".

His co-host Matt LeBlanc has since signed a two-series deal with the BBC to host the show when it returns in 2017.

The former Friends star will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid, with regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig.

Take Me Out star McGuinness will soon be seen presenting Stars In Their Cars, in which he takes ten celebrity guests down memory lane in three cars from their youth.

He told the Press Association he did not believe the Top Gear hosting job was a poisoned chalice, adding : "I don't think it is, but personally I think Chris Evans should have done another series, I don't think he should have left.

"It can't be easy to see things written about you that aren't nice, but that is telly. I've been slagged off by critics and praised by them, and when they are praising you it's fantastic and you say 'They have got a point', but when they don't it's 'Who are these people?'.

"That's the job and you have to grow a thick skin. I thought he was all right at it but that is my personal opinion.

"I don't know him so I'm not saying it because he's a mate of mine, but I thought he should have done another series."

McGuinness dismissed comparisons between his new show and the BBC Two motoring programme though, saying they are very different concepts.

He said: "When we were filming it, the amount of people and stories I saw that said 'Paddy McGuinness was making the new Top Gear'.

"I thought 'This is a million miles away from it', but I think anything to do with cars is compared to Top Gear, especially when it was never out of the papers about Chris Evans taking over and Matt LeBlanc taking over, but I knew, when it comes out they will see it's nothing like Top Gear.

"We don't really review the cars, we talk a little bit about them and hear stories about them and we have a quick look at the engine, but we don't do anything too in-depth, it's one on its own that show."

In Stars In Their Cars McGuinness will reunite his guests, including Neil Morrissey, Patsy Kensit, John Prescott and Jodie Kidd, with the first car they ever owned, the first car they splashed out on and their favourite vehicle, as they reminisce about the past.

He said: " I filmed a couple of promos and they had an old black (Ford Escort) XR3i and that was one of my earlier cars. With Neil, one of his was a Capri, and I used to have one of them too, it's amazing when you get in those cars that the smell really takes you back.

"They are 30 or 40 years old and they smell exactly the same, the smell of the 70s and 80s. I just loved it, you didn't really feel like you were making a show."

Stars In Their Cars begins on Travel Channel at 9pm on October 12.