Chris Evans hits back at Top Gear is a hit - official!


Chris Evans has hit back after viewers slammed his Top Gear debut.

The revamped BBC Two show returned to TV screens on Sunday night with Chris and former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc at the helm.

Viewers were quick to criticise the motoring show on social media, with many of the comments referring to Chris' "shouty" and "too excitable" hosting style. Fans also felt that he had tried - unsuccessfully - to imitate former frontman Jeremy Clarkson.

However, Chris has now taken to Twitter to defend the show, suggesting in a series of posts that he was satisfied with how the first episode went.

Matt, 48, who escaped most of the barbs online, has yet to comment.

Sunday night's instalment kicked off with a light-hearted dig at Jeremy, who was sacked for an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on a producer, apparently over catering.

During Chris' opening segment he introduced a group of people from an Indian restaurant and asked the audience what they thought they were doing there.

One person suggested they were there to prepare the food, and Chris, 50, said: "By the way, we don't talk about catering on this show any more."

Chris visited a US Naval Base where he raced a Dodge Viper ACR against a Corvette Z06, and Matt was seen trying out an Ariel Nomad in the Moroccan desert. The pair also raced from London to Blackpool in roofless Reliant Rialtos.

Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear
Matt LeBlanc (BBC Pictures)

Chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Jesse Eisenberg became the first celebrities on the leaderboard after racing a Mini Cooper around the track.

Within minutes of Top Gear starting viewers on social media were expressing their dismay.

There were calls for the return of Jeremy and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May.

Jeremy Clarkson hosted Top Gear
Jeremy Clarkson (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ratings released on Monday show that the episode failed to reach the viewing figures of the last series.

It drew 4.4 million viewers, with a peak of 4.7 million, while the last series bowed out with 5.8 million viewers.

However, the show was still the most-watched programme in the 8pm time slot, beating Antiques Roadshow on BBC One and the British Soap Awards on ITV.