Amid the plummeting ratings of the reformed Top Gear – with Sunday night's (19 June) show hovering around the 2.34 million mark – the man responsible for the new series has jumped to the defence of its viewing figures and co-hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
Acting Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Alan Tyler, has spoken out about the declining viewer ratings as rumours circulate about the programme being axed ever since Evans and LeBlanc took over from Jeremy Clarkson and co in the driving seat.
Insisting that executives are satisfied with the show's reception thus far, Tyler stated: "We are four episodes into the new Top Gear era with its new presenting line up, and remain really pleased with the way the series is performing."
Adding: "[Sunday] night's episode was another great watch and yet again was easily the biggest show of the day on BBC Two. Being up against a major sporting event is always tough and that is partly why the series is performing so brilliantly on catch up and BBC iPlayer."
Tyler's comments come after IBTimes UK reported yesterday that the bookmakers Betway predicted things will only get worse, quoting 5/4 for the BBC to cancel the next series, while it presumes LeBlanc's chances of presenting season 24 are at 2/1 odds.
Top Gear still has a bit more fuel in its tank left yet, as the bookmaker offers 4/7 for the show to return with another series and Evans as host.
Top Gear continues on Sunday (26 June) at 8pm.