13/07/2016 17:51 BST

'Top Gear': Chris Evans' Reboot Proves To Be More Popular Abroad Than Jeremy Clarkson's Last Series

Lucrative overseas sales for the motoring series have shown 'marginal growth'.

Chris Evans’ rebooted series of ‘Top Gear’ may have faced a critical mauling and dwindling ratings in the UK, but it turns out that his version of the show has proved to be more successful abroad than Jeremy Clarkson’s last season as presenter. 

The head of BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, has revealed ‘Top Gear’ has actually shown signs of growth globally since the last series, when Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were at the helm.

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Chris Evans and his predecessor, Jeremy Clarkson

Speaking to The Guardian, Tim Davie said: “I am very happy with programme sales.

“[Chris Evans’ Top Gear] has sold into over 130 territories, which is very strong and marginal growth versus the previous season.”

He added that he isn’t worried about the future of the BBC Two motoring series, although acknowledged the fact its ratings have faced “ups and downs”.

“It is absolutely the case I think that ‘Top Gear’ remains in very good health,” he said.

“It is a work in progress and we will have to see how it goes. I remain optimistic about ‘Top Gear’ and its growth potential over the coming years.”

The show is a very important asset for BBC Worldwide, as it rakes in a reported £50m a year through international sales of the programme, books, DVDs, live shows and other merchandise. 

Matt LeBlanc is taking over from Chris Evans

Chris announced he was stepping down from ‘Top Gear’ earlier this month, after just one series in the presenting hot seat. 

It has since been confirmed Matt LeBlanc will step up to be the main host, supported by co-stars Sabine Schmitz, Rory Reid, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan.

Chris threw his support behind the decision, calling the former ‘Friends’ star “the captain ‘Top Gear’ truly needs going forward” in his Mail On Sunday column. 

“Not only does he eat, sleep, breathe and dream engines, propshafts and trail-braking, but the overwhelming quality that struck me about him is that he’s just such a pro,” he wrote. 

“The whole time I worked with him, he never once looked at the clock, was never late on set, knew his lines inside out and back to front and, most importantly on such an intense production, he always had time for everyone, especially the crew.

“The simple truth is he and ‘Top Gear’ were made for each other,” he added. 

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