TV presenter Chris Evans has stepped down from his role on Top Gear, just one series after taking over from its previous star Jeremy Clarkson.
Evans signed a three-year deal to front the show, which is the BBC’s biggest earner in terms of overseas sales. He steps down after just six shows were aired.
The show was rebooted for 2016, with a team of six presenters being used to replace the previous trio of Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.
In face of highly-critical reviews, a stunt with Ken Block at the Cenotaph war memorial in London that produced an outcry, and falling viewing figures, Evans tweeted on Monday that he was quitting the show.
Mark Linsey, Director of BBC Studios, 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.”
Evans is also facing a claim of historical sex assault allegations, reported by a UK Sunday newspaper, which the Metropolitan Police is understood to be reviewing.
Evans has denied the claim, and insisted that his other work – including presenting BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show – will go on.