Top Gear host Chris Harris labelled the 'new Chris Evans'

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Top Gear presenter Chris Harris answers media questions during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.

Top Gear host Chris Harris has been derided as the 'new Chris Evans' following the debut of the first episode of the new series.

Fans took to Twitter to voice their dislike of the motoring journalist, labelling him "insulting", "false" and "rude".

They also took issue with the fact that Harris was supposedly given more screen time than former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc, who was tipped to be the lead presenter following Evans' departure last year.

Dominic Stewart wrote on Twitter: "Chris Harris is turning into last season's Chris Evans #TopGear."

Meanwhile, Daniel Coates commented: "Enjoying the new Top Gear so far apart from Chris Harris #annoying." Scott McLean added: "#TopGear so far: Chris Harris is trying 2 hard & is annoying because of it. Show & Trio are just trying 2 copy the old way. OK but Not for me."

However, while a number of people took to Twitter to slate Harris and his presenting style, just as many voiced their approval of his enthusiastic and informative manner.

Nathan Hoar wrote: "Chris Harris is absolutely hilarious #TopGear."

Luke Jordan added: "Great start for the new #topgear, more enjoyable than the last few seasons of C,H & M. Chris Harris seems like a natural at this!"

Angus McIntosh commented: "New Top Gear was bloody good. Chris Harris confirms his place amongst my favourite car men on earth." While the latest season of the long-running BBC Two show may be polarising viewers so far, audience figures have revealed that the new episode was only seen by an average of 2.8 million people – close to two million fewer than last year's series debut.

Series 24 of Top Gear continues on BBC Two on Sunday at 8pm.