Jeremy Clarkson's Final 'Top Gear' Episode Sees BBC Ratings Dip
The U.K. public broadcaster is revamping its hit auto show with Chris Evans as host, having fired Clarkson for punching a producer earlier in the year.
Jeremy Clarkson's final appearance on BBC hit motoring show Top Gear in its latest season's finale on Sunday drew 5.3 million viewers in the U.K., a 23.1 percent share but the lowest figures of the season.
Even before the BBC aired the final episode of its flagship motoring show before a revamp, there had been numerous claims on social media that it could result in a ratings explosion big enough to make the broadcaster regret its decision to ax the host and change up the program.
However, the performance of Sunday's episode fell significantly below the show's 2007 all-time peak audience of 7.96 million.
Clarkson himself had accused the BBC of downplaying his last show in a tweet sent earlier in the day.
Strange that BBC News is talking down the last Top Gear tonight. Do they not want big ratings for some reason?— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) June 28, 2015
After the broadcast, which was also the last for co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson sent out another tweet apologizing that his time on the show — which is watched in more than 200 territories — had concluded in the manner in which it had.
Many many thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years. So sad and sorry it's ended like this— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) June 28, 2015
Last month, the BBC revealed that TV and radio personality Chris Evans would replace Clarkson as host of what it hopes to be a revitalized Top Gear, due to air next year.