Starting in fifth gear?

The long-awaited new series of Top Gear has set off, having seen former presenter Jeremy Clarkson getting the boot, and fellow presenters Richard Hammond and James May leaving the show alongside him.

While the infamous trio are now set to host an all-new Amazon Prime car show, The Grand Tour, the focus has definitely been on the new presenters of the record-breaking BBC series, Top Gear.

Chris Evans and previous Friends star, Matt LeBlanc seem to have brought a lot of attention to the show’s revamp, and for all the wrong reasons.

While LeBlanc appears to have avoided the majority of criticism, Evans has received an enormous amount of negative attention from both press and the public, with calls to even sack the Radio 2 Breakfast Show host.

Many seem to be struggling to adjust to the new Top Gear, but it is arguable that whoever took the place of Jeremy Clarkson would have suffered a similar fate.

A drop in ratings was reported to have fallen from 4.3 million in the pilot, to 2.8 million the following episode, and while this may seem a devastating blow, it is also a common occurrence for the pilot of a long-anticipated show to have higher viewing figures.

The show had been carefully moulded over time to fit the previous format and presenters, which began with low expectations, and grew to the record-breaking show it became over 22 seasons.

So are viewers being too harsh, too soon? Fans are left hoping that time will be the saviour of the BBC series, as chemistry is certain to improve between co-hosts, and changes can be made to perfect the format for the current hosts.

Chris Evans has dealt with the criticism through humour, telling viewers in the second episode that it would get “more shouty”, before Tweeting “Overnight television viewing figures for Top Gear have never been less relevant. Obviously some newspapers prefer to live in the past.”

In my opinion, Top Gear was never going to be the same. But perhaps we should accept that, and enjoy what we do now have as a replacement. If this was a new show, people definitely wouldn’t be kicking up such a fuss about is being “awful”, and instead I reckon quite a few of us would still tune in.

Matt LeBlanc is incredibly likeable, and Chris Evans is definitely beginning to grow on me. A little like the way a tick might grow on an animal.. You’re not happy about it at first, but then you learn to live with it. And he’s definitely dealt brilliantly with the criticism.

Do I love the new Top Gear as much as the last series?  Not yet.. But will I be tuning in again this week? Definitely!

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