Appointing Chris Evans As Top Gear Host Was A Stupid Idea To Begin With
I'm going to tell you something you already know: Chris Evans being appointed as the main host of Top Gear was a fucking stupid idea.
The reputation of Top Gear has not simply been built by the BBC so it could change the stars willy nilly. It was built up by Clarkson, Hammond and May into a chemistry-filled entertainment show.
Because the three of them had spent so long creating what had become the BBC's biggest asset, it had become something that couldn't just so easily be chopped and changed.
Upon the realisation that Clarkson and co. were making another car show that would directly rival the revamp of Top Gear, wouldn't you just admit defeat and leave Top Gear as it was?
In my opinion, the show's legacy would have been better left as Clarkson, Hammond and May heading out of the door, with their episodes banked on Netflix. Not with someone far less capable having a run on the show and ultimately ruining it.
Furthermore, why not just sell the rights of Top Gear to wherever the three former hosts decided to go? Yeah, you're letting go of a valuable BBC asset, but imagine the money that would have come in from anywhere else.
Chris Evans' approach to the role was all wrong, too.
When he got the call, I assume he was delirious, and rightly so. But he forgot to take into account that it was not going to be an easy job replacing his predecessor.
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He decided that he was the dog's bollocks way before he had appeared in front of a Top Gear camera, and ultimately buried himself alive, leaving only his head above the dirt.
The BBC has announced that Evans won't be replaced, which is good, I suppose, but half the problem is still there - no one's watching the show. Matt LeBlanc may be liked, but in terms of Top Gear, no one is really going to fit the bill other than Clarkson, Hammond and May.
For all the real petrol heads who will argue that the likes of Sabine Schmitz and Chris Harris are more than capable at hosting a car show, you are correct, they are. However, Top Gear hasn't actually been a 'car' show for a long time. It's been an entertainment show that features cars.
In order for the BBC to cater to full-blown petrol heads it need to change its demographic, change the format of the show, and admit that it's never going to be the television powerhouse it once was, presumably by changing its prime Sunday, 8pm slot. The fans that watched Top Gear for Clarkson, Hammond and May dicking about in a £1,000 80s hatchback in a foreign country are gone, and are likely to never come back.
While all this is going on, the three are off seemingly enjoying themselves as their new Amazon Prime show, The Grand Tour, is beginning to take shape.
The three amigos have taken time off to formulate a new format and a different direction, which will undoubtedly blow the current Top Gear out of the water.
I'm not sure what comes next for Top Gear, but it seems as if the show will continue with Matt LeBlanc as the main host.
Who knows, maybe the next season will be far more of a success than the one that has just ended? However, it's an unfortunate fact that it'll likely never be as good as it once was.
Words by Mark McGowan
Featured image credit: PA