According to a report in British tabloid The Sun, all is not well at New Top Gear. Specifically, Matt LeBlanc has threatened to quit unless Chris Evans is fired. Considering that the BBC was meant to have killed presenter drama when it fired Jeremy Clarkson, this is not good.
According to The Sun, “sources on the crisis-hit programme say Matt has grown increasingly frustrated with his co-star’s rudeness and frosty attitude towards the team.” LeBlanc is signed for two seasons, so the BBC is apparently being pushed into choosing between the two main presenters.
The report continues to dish out dirt on the working relationship between Evans and the rest of the team, not just LeBlanc:
“The team does not gel at all, and the atmosphere between the presenters is decidedly frosty. It’s very much a picture of him – Chris – and them.
“Matt has already indicated that he won’t continue on any further series if Chris remains a part of it. And he is far from the only one who isn’t happy.
“Chris is not encouraging when any of the others are doing their links.
“On one occasion this month he even pretended to bump his head against a wall in frustration when Eddie Jordan kept fluffing his lines.”
“He just isn’t interested. He doesn’t even hang out with the others back stage and firmly keeps his distance from all of them at the aerodrome.”
In all fairness, this is The Sun, so reports should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. But if true, it paints a very different picture to the Top Gear that has traditionally existed. Clarkson & Co were famous for their chemistry on and off screen, very visibly demonstrated when Hammond and May chose to go with Clarkson after he was fired.
The bad chemistry is manifesting itself on screen, with ratings in freefall and episodes failing to make an impression on viewers. Where gems do exist from the new show, they’re entirely absent Chris Evans, such as last week’s Tesla Model X review.