There’s been bad news and good news this week for Matt LeBlanc and co.
On Monday, it emerged that the series finale of ‘Top Gear’ on Sunday evening had garnered even fewer viewers than in its previous incarnation, when the much-mocked Chris Evans was at the wheel.
However, it seems the BBC has kept the faith in the latest lineup, with BBC Two controller Patrick Holland confirming today that all three - Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid - will be returning in 2018, for another lap around the track.
This year’s series finale drew in an average of just 1.89 million viewers, 10,000 less than what the newspaper branded Chris Evans’ “all-time low” last year.
In response to this, a BBC spokesperson said that initial viewing figures seem low due to the changing ways in which people now consume television, insisting: “The first five episodes of ‘Top Gear’, which we have consolidated figures for, have been enjoyed by an average of 3.4million people each week.”
An insider told the Sun: “Although the series hasn’t had any major issues, it hasn’t attracted the huge numbers it used to.
However, it seems Patrick is prepared to let the trio bed in for a while yet, telling Radio Times today: “The doubt at the beginning, the fear when a show comes back is will the audience grow to like this new presenting combo? And we are starting again this year. And I think they really have and Chris and Rory have grown and Matt has made it his own show.
“We are turning over a new leaf, I think Chris and Rory have been fantastic, I think Matt has really been terrific on the films. I think he really started to enjoy the studios more and more.”
Patrick also stressed that the show had proved particularly appealing to an important segment of the BBC Two audience, scoring highly with under-34’ and under-16’s.
- 25 March 2015Barcroft Media via Getty Images
- 24 April 2015Matt Jelonek via Getty Images
- 16 June 2015Alex Huckle via Getty Images
- 30 July 2015Matt Jelonek via Getty Images
- 28 November 2015Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images
- 22 December 2015Barcroft via Getty Images
- 23 December 2015Hirz via Getty Images
- 4 February 2016Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
- 11 February 2016BBC
- 26 February 2016Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
- 19 January 2016UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images
- 10 February 2016NBC via Getty Images
- 13 March 2016PA
- 14 March 2016Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
- 31 March 2016BBC
- 12 April 2016BBC
- 13 April 2016Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
- Apart from that...BBC