News that Chris Evans will replace Jeremy Clarkson as Top Gear's frontman has prompted a bitter response from fans, many criticising the decision and vowing not to watch the new series of the show.
Clarkson's successor was always going to be a matter of contention for viewers, many of whom are bigger fans of the ousted presenter than of the show itself.
Oh dear. Turns out I wasn't a Top Gear fan, I was a Clarkson, Hammond & May fan. That's who I want to see, not a revamped TG with others on.— Jane Brewer (@jane_brewer) June 16, 2015
Would love to have been the first #TopGear presenter with an 8 year old Ford Plonker and no interest in cars. But it was not to be .— Jane Garvey (@janegarvey1) June 16, 2015
Top Gear has just been downgraded to Flop Gear.— Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) June 16, 2015
Admittedly I haven't seen anything of Chris Evans in about 15 years, but I'd rather eat my own face than watch him on Top Gear.— Old Ben (@MeKenobi) June 16, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
I think I've watched around 2 episodes of Top Gear. Absolutely no chance of that going up to 3 or more now.— Ian Edmonds (@IKEdmonds) June 16, 2015
Never watched Top Gear. Got even less of a reason to now.— R Evans (@Mativenko80) June 16, 2015
Gary Lineker, the BBC's Match of the Day presenter, though, led the charge against embattled Evans enemies, congratulating the Radio 2 DJ on his appointment and calling him "one of the finest broadcasters of our time".
Soon after, Clarkson's former colleague James May threw his backing behind Evans too:
Well: best of luck to @achrisevans and the future of Top Gear (b. 1977). That's a ballsy call, frankly, and to be admired.— James May (@MrJamesMay) June 16, 2015
The two heavyweight broadcasters were joined quickly by others, keen to defend Top Gear's reputation and rally in support of Evans.
@TinTopsuk I'm happy with the Chris Evans choice. A genuine car nut and great presenter as well. Might give TG a new direction. 👍— Rich (@richm247) June 16, 2015
Yes!!!! So happy that Chris Evans is going to host top gear!!! Great news.— Chris Frost (@christrfrost) June 16, 2015
HUGE NEWS! Chris Evans will present Top Gear for at least the next 3 years! I think that will be pretty awesome! But who will be alongside?— Ben Constanduros (@BenConsty) June 16, 2015
Great news about Chris Evans' Top Gear job. It means TFI Friday is cancelled.— Liz Buckley (@liz_buckley) June 16, 2015
Of all of the potential appointments, I'm delighted to see @achrisevans leading the new Top Gear line-up! Change can be good!— Luke Hopkins (@LucasH89) June 16, 2015
The BBC has confirmed production on the new series is due to start in the coming weeks. Whether or not Evans will manage to win over his critics remains to be seen.