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Top Gear Host Chris Evans To Take The Back Seat

New Top Gear Host Chris Evans is to take a less prominent role at the helm of Top Gear, after viewing figures for the newly revamped motoring show slumped to a new low.

The third episode of Top Gear, the first to feature motoring journalists Rory Reid and Chris Harris, received positive reviews, but was watched by a live audience of just 2.37 million viewers, down nearly half a million on the previous week.

The programme, which recorded the second-lowest audience figures since Jeremy Clarkson revived the motoring show, in 2002, received plaudits from viewers for the performances of Reid and Harris, who usually host the online spin-off show, Extra Gear.

While Evans and Matt LeBlanc will continue to anchor the studio recording, it is understood that pre-recorded material featuring both of the lesser known presenters will feature more prominently in the rest of the series. Reid wrote on Twitter yesterday: "We are on the main show every Sunday now."

The new incarnation of Top Gear has experienced a rough ride under Evans's stewardship, despite its opening episode recording a solid audience of 6.4 million viewers, including catch-up viewing.

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