‘Top Gear’ - already suffering in the ratings - may prove a victim of scheduling yet again if the England football team comes good and makes it through to the next round of Euro 2016.
England are due to play their Last 16 match on Monday, which if they win, will mean they then play their quarter-final match on Sunday 3 July, the date of ‘Top Gear’s final episode in this run of six.
The BBC has confirmed that, if this happens, the final episode of ‘Top Gear’ - what should be the highlight in the primetime schedule - will be moved to an earlier 6.30pm slot so as not to clash with the football.
Now, this is a very usual occurrence during any summer of sport. Any BBC network director of a certain age can still tell you how the call from the Channel Controller and the shout of “It’s Tim Henman, move the tennis to BBC1” was enough to send chills down the neck of any scheduler.
However, it will no doubt be perceived as fresh ignominy for the beleaguered ‘Top Gear’ team, who’ve been plagued with falling ratings ever since it debuted to 4million plus viewers a few short weeks ago.
And it does fly in the face of host Chris Evans’s assertion that he’s not bothered by overnight ratings, however, even he will be cross that he ever hoped out loud for an audience of five million viewers - that figure now looking like an ever more unachievable fantasy.
Last week’s show saw a new record low of 2.3million, with the show perhaps already the victim of unfavorable scheduling, up against another football match, Switzerland versus France, as well as ‘Coronation Street’ over on ITV.
On the bright side, those viewers who did tune in were full of particular praise for rising stars Chris Harris and Rory Reid, both of whom featured in their segments - driving an Aston Martin Vulcan and a Tesla Model X respectively - while Eddie Jordan’s playing the spoons on the Orient Express effectively stole the entire show.
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- 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