It's official, Chris Evans has stepped down as host of "Top Gear." Evans took to Twitter to announce his departure from the show, stating that he gave it his best but that sometimes the best isn't enough. He continued by saying that the team is "beyond brilliant" and that he wished them all well. It isn't known yet who will replace Evans on "Top Gear."
Last week, rumors of drama surfaced, with the British outlet The Telegraph reporting that Matt LeBlanc, Evans' co-host, was threatening to quit the show if Evans didn't go first. There were also reports from sources close to the show that Evans was rude on set and frustrating to work with. Since the departure of the original trio of hosts, the new season of "Top Gear" has been hit by multiple scandals and controversies, including the resignation of the show's executive producer, Lisa Clark, who claimed that Evans was "tyrannical."
Looming above all of this are numerous reports that Evans is under renewed scrutiny about claims of sexual harassment dating back to the 1990s. It isn't clear to what degree this motivated Evans to leave the show, but it may have been the straw that broke the camel's back on an overall tenuous tenure as lead presenter.
Ever since the new season launched, the number of people watching "Top Gear" has dropped. One of the more recent episodes only received 2.34 million views, which was lower than the previous lowest record of 2.36 million in June 2003. In addition to the alleged issues between Evans and LeBlanc, other hosts weren't thrilled with his leadership either.
In a statement, BBC director Mark Linsey said, "Chris is stepping down from his duties on Top Gear. He says he gave it his best shot doing everything he could to make the show a success. He firmly believes that the right people remain, on both the production team and presenting team to take the show forward and make it the hit we want it to be. The new series has so far notched up over 30m views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide."
We'll update this story as we hear more.