TV

Chris Evans’ Top Gear has actually earned more worldwide than Clarkson’s

So it got a universal critical kicking, viewing figures slumped to their lowest level since 2002, Chris Evans quit and two planned Christmas specials were cancelled. A total disaster for the new Top Gear then?

Well, not quite.

Tim Davie, the head of BBC Worldwide, has revealed that international sales of the latest series have already exceeded those for the final series with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond - good news, considering that Top Gear is the BBC's biggest-earning export.

 “130 countries have bought the new series which is an increase on the last one (by 41),” Davie told the i newspaper. However, there is a slight problem, as the BBC was expected to sell 14 episodes in this year - two series and those two extra Christmas specials; instead, the show will be revamped once again for 2017. Nonetheless, Davie commented, “There is always an element of risk over episodes and timing with any creative enterprise. We’re not expecting any contractual issues with our broadcast partners.”

BBC Worldwide returned £222.2m to the BBC last year, with around £50m of that coming from Top Gear, so they'll be pleased to see resolute international support for the franchise.

Meanwhile, the hunt is on to find the new figurehead for the show with pundits, and Evans himself, backing Matt LeBlanc to take a more central role when it returns next year.

[via i]

(Image: Rex)