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'Top Gear' host Chris Evans defends lower viewship for season premiere

By
Marilyn Malara
Chris Evans (L) hosts the new season of Top Gear, which premiered Monday to reportedly low ratings. File Photo by Steve Vas/Shutterstock
Chris Evans (L) hosts the new season of "Top Gear," which premiered Monday to reportedly low ratings. File Photo by Steve Vas/Shutterstock

LONDON, May 31 (UPI) -- Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc's Top Gear season premiere reportedly opened to its lowest viewership in 10 years.

After attracting 4.4 million viewers and peaking at 4.7 million in the United Kingdom, according to The Telegraph, Evans took to social media to defend the episode, which some fans have deemed "boring."

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"Top Gear audience grew throughout the hour. FACT. Won its slot. FACT. Still number one on i Player. FACT. These are THE FACTS folks," the television personality wrote Monday.

In another tweet, he reported the show was "a hit," adding it took up almost a quarter of the night's audience share. "These are the FACTS," he repeated.

The Telegraph confirms Top Gear was in fact the most-watched show in its time slot Monday, beating out Antiques Roadshow on the BBC One channel and British Soap Awards on ITV. Still, after the exit of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, the premiere's viewership saw a steep decline since its last season finale, which saw a reported 5.8 million viewers.

Earlier this month, the former Top Gear trio announced their newest Amazon series will be titled The Grand Tour and is set for an Autumn debut on Amazon Prime.

The series will "feature short films shot in different locations around the globe and the studio audience portion of the showcase will take place at a different location around the world every week," according to a release at the time.

Last year, Jeremy Clarkson was fired from Top Gear after an altercation with a producer; May and Hammond exited shortly after.

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