More than two weeks before the 24th season of BBC’s Top Gear starts airing in the United Kingdom (March 5, 2017), it seems viewers are slowly getting interested in the show’s still unknown new format. Moreover, the exit of Chris Evans -- no, not the actor playing Captain America but a well-known TV and radio presenter in the UK – seems to be working well to revive Top Gear’s declined popularity.
It can’t be denied that after Jeremy Clarkson’s departure from the show – followed by co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May as well as executive producer Andy Wilman – was one of the main factors why fewer people were watching Top Gear. Although BBC downplayed this and attributed the decline in ratings to sporting events that coincided with the airing of Top Gear, the trio’s departure was widely seen as the lead reason for the drop. Then Evans was hired by BBC as a presenter for a revamped Top Gear, along with Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan. Only Stig remained as the fixed figure at Top Gear (though he is played by different drivers).
Evans’ presence in the Top Gear TV show had been very controversial. There was even a short video parody in which Adolf Hitler (from 2004 film “Downfall”) reacted furiously to Evans’ appointment as a Top Gear presenter. There were reports that the atmosphere between the presenters had been frosty, with the group divided between Evans and the rest. According to reports citing insiders, it seemed that Evans had become jealous of the attention being paid to the other presenters – especially Reid and Harris – making him become distanced from the group. Although Evans signed for three seasons at Top Gear, his presence wouldn’t be felt for the last two seasons following his exit.
Now, in a bid to boost the show’s rating, the bosses at BBC are wiping traces of Evans in the upcoming 24th season. The show is now returning to its three-host format, with LeBlanc, Reid and Harris doing all the presentation jobs. This trio seemed to have more chemistry than the group with Evans, and that may spell the difference. Likewise, Top Gear is ditching its “Star in a Rallycross Car” segment, a section of the show that Evans introduced. That segment featured celebrities driving Evan’s beloved Mini Cooper on the mud and tarmac.
For the 24th season, the defunct segment “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” will return. Yes, this is the same format as the previous segment that Evans replaced with his “Star in a Rallycross Car.” Reviving this segment also effectively wipes out Evans’ influence.
So, which car would have the privilege to take part in the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment? In past seasons (excluding season 23), the cars selected were the Suzuki Liana (2002 to 2005), Chevrolet Lacetti (2006 to 2009), Kia Cee’d (2010 to 2013) and Vauxhall Astra (2013 to 2015). According to the Sun, a Toyota GT86 will be featured on this particular segment.