Chris Evans' exit boosts Top Gear's ratings
Chris Harris is convinced the ratings for 'Top Gear' has increased because Chris Evans has left and the show has become more about cars
Chris Harris thinks 'Top Gear's rating have rocketed because Chris Evans has left.
The 42-year-old journalist - who joined the motoring show last year alongside the DJ - thinks the presenter's shock exit last year actually worked out for the better because more people are tuning in to the new series since it became more about cars.
He said: "It's a bit more car-orientated so the petrolheads are enjoying it. It's never going to satisfy the full petrolhead audience but the car is at the centre of the show."
The former racing driving was slapped with heavy criticism at the beginning of the series, which hit screens earlier this month, but has admitted his co-star Matt LeBlanc has been helping him perfect his presenting skills alongside Rory Reid.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he explained: "I want to still be the guy who drives the cars and demonstrates what they do. But equally I now have to make television. I'm working alongside one of the best comedy actors of my generation and that can be pretty daunting. But he is super, super giving and very helpful.
"It's like going to school every day because Matt constantly tells me what to do. Hopefully I'll get better as time goes on. 'Top Gear' is a huge brand. We were always going to come across negative comments.
"I just want to be part of something people can watch with their family at 8pm on a Sunday night, and be proud of it. Right now I am."
Evans turned his back on the show less than 12 months into his three-year contract after his hosting style was heavily criticised by fans but, although it was his choice to leave, he hasn't spoken to LeBlanc , who he co-presented with, since his departure.
Matt said previously: "I did not know what was coming until I read that [he had quit the show] in the paper. I haven't heard from him since -- which is his choice."
It was rumoured the pair had locked horns while shooting the series last year, but the 50-year-old hunk is adamant that wasn't the case and they merely kept a professional relationship because they had busy schedules away from the screen.
Bosses signed LeBlanc up to the show alongside Evans - who took over from sacked host Jeremy Clarkson - as they thought his fame would boost viewings.
However, the series' success didn't replicate the expectations and every episode was slated online by viewers, who found Evans' presenting style "awkward".
Despite the negative reviews, bosses decided to make Matt the show's main host for the forthcoming series, with a helping hand from Harris and Reid.