Just when you thought things could not get any worse for the new-look Top Gear a fresh twist comes along to kick Chris Evans and Co. in the proverbial bollocks all over again.
Not content with having to refute claims of a clash between the Big Ginger One and co-host Matt LeBlanc as well as rumours of Evans impending exit, Top Gear producers are now facing another mounting problem: ratings.
Having launched over the May Bank Holiday weekend to a solid 4.4 million viewers, the number of people tuning has plummeted with every passing week.
By the time the second episode of the new show had arrived, viewer numbers had dipped to 2.8 million.
And it only got worse from there.
The third episode recouped around 2.4 million viewers with the fourth slipping down further to 2.3 million.
There had been some optimism following episode five though, with an average of 2.7 million tuning in.
However, that has been about as good as it got, with Sunday’s season finale bringing in a dismal 1.9 million viewers.
Much of this has been attributed to ITV’s decision to broadcast France vs Iceland around the same time, with that particular match attracting an audience of around 6.6 million according to BARB.
Yet the figures quoted are still a far cry from the 5.8 million viewers Top Gear attracted on average over the course of the final series involving Jeremy Clarkson’s posse.
More importantly, with England already out of Euro 2016 the decision, for many, to watch two other sides duke it out rather than tune in to Evans and LeBlanc offers a damning indictment of just how bad things have gone for the BBC show.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.