Here are five things Top Gear fans hated about Chris Evans

By Tristram Fane Saunders

Chris Evans seen filming scenes for Top Gear at the BBC, Portland Place on February 19, 2016 in London. Photo / Getty
Chris Evans seen filming scenes for Top Gear at the BBC, Portland Place on February 19, 2016 in London. Photo / Getty

One might almost feel sorry for Chris Evans.

After just six episodes, the presenter decided that Top Gear would be better off without him.

Looking back at his stint on the show a year later, it still seems like a litany of disappointments.

Over those six weeks, viewing-figures have plummeted to an all-time low, and the critics poured scorn the former TGI Friday star's efforts.

Even the show's original Stig, Perry McCarthy, put the boot in, calling Evans's very first episode "really, really bad."

In a few years his brief tenure may be forgotten. Until then, here are five things that particularly got on people's nerves:

1: Shouting

Throughout the series, Evans's yapping delivery raised the hackles of fans and critics alike. While his puppy-dog enthusiasm might be fine-tuned for waking up the listeners on his Radio 2 breakfast show, on Top Gear it curdled into something rather unpleasant.

The Telegraph's Michael Hogan called him "shrill and shouty", while critic Amy Blumsom found his "hyperactive exclamations" difficult to listen to. "Viewers recovering from their Sunday roast are in the mood for more sedate television," she wrote.

2: Creating the opposite of good chemistry

"The banter felt dead on arrival," our critic wrote - with good reason. Rather than the comprehensible, three-way power dynamic of Jezza, Captain Slow and The Hamster, the relaunched show's six-presenter line-up (seven if you include The Stig) felt like a tangled mess. It wasn't clear whether we were watching "Evans and LeBlanc and Friends" or "Evans and his Underlings".

Chris Evans. Photo / Getty
Chris Evans. Photo / Getty

Tabloid rumours of a tense relationship between LeBlanc and Evans seemed to be borne out by their stilted chatter on screen. Hopefully, with LeBlanc at the helm (and the presenting team pared back to three), the new series will avoid those issues.

3: Not being Jeremy Clarkson

With four words, Evans's fate was sealed: "And on that bombshell..." Referencing Clarkson's catchphrase was a poor idea - it made unflattering comparisons inevitable. Evans may own a couple of cars, but he lacked Clarkson's clout as a serious motoring journalist.

His scriptwriters didn't help; too often, Evans's quips in the car review sections sounded hopelessly sub-Clarkson.

The problem started in the first episode, when Evans made a contrived joke about catering - a reference to last year's food-related "fracas". It came across as more than a little smug, and alienated fans of the former presenter.

4: Not being Matt LeBlanc

Whenever LeBlanc had a segment to himself, audiences were guaranteed a chuckle.

When Evans had the screen to himself, the laughter dried up. Evans may be a polished and engaging interviewer, but his pre-recorded scenes left audiences longing for another few moments of Joey in a Porsche.

Matt Le Blanc and Chris Evans seen filming scenes for 'Top Gear' at the BBC. Photo / Getty
Matt Le Blanc and Chris Evans seen filming scenes for 'Top Gear' at the BBC. Photo / Getty

In a sense, LeBlanc highlighted Evans's faults; with his easy-going charm and lackadaisical demeanour, he was everything the bespectacled one was not.

5: His ego

When Clarkson began on Top Gear, he was a little-known motoring journalist.

But Evans brought the baggage of his public persona with him; his fame proved to be a millstone around his neck.

Despite the show's status as the world's most-watched factual programme, Evans occasionally projected the sense that he was doing the viewers a favour by being there.

Despite the fact that he couldn't handle the speed - throwing up in episode three while being driven around by Sabine Schmitz - he tried to present himself as the ultimate expert, and his narcissism grated with viewers.

This is potentially an issue for LeBlanc (who carries far more showbiz baggage than Evans), but the comedian has always worn his knowledge lightly.

Let's hope he avoids making the same mistakes.

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 23 Mar 2017 14:20:32 Processing Time: 763ms