Top Gear’s insider is at it again, this time claiming that Chris Evans is stretching himself too thin and devoting just four hours a day to Top Gear. The blame, it seems, is due to his commitment to hosting the long-running breakfast show on BBC Radio 2.
According to the insider, Evans wakes up at 4:45am every weekday to make it to the studio for the start of his 6:30am breakfast radio show. The show runs for three hours, after which Evans travels to the Top Gear offices and starts work there at 10:00am. But the early start means that Evans can only do about 4 hours worth of work on Top Gear before he admits to becoming “useless” and “fried,” the host told the Top Gear magazine. He reportedly leaves the studio at 2:00pm “on the dot” to pick up his children from school.
A severe lack of time available to work on Top Gear is something to be concerned about, when you consider that his predecessor Jeremy Clarkson lived and breathed Top Gear almost 24 hours a day. Upon losing his role as Top Gear presenter, Jeremy wrote how Top Gear was the ‘black hole at the centre of his heart’. “I woke every morning worrying about every single line. And I went to bed at night worrying that the changes I’d made during the day were wrong,” Jeremy said. “Friends would talk to me when we were out and, though I could see their lips moving, I couldn’t hear what they were saying. My mind was always elsewhere. I was comfortably numb.”
So is it a good idea for the BBC to give so much power to a person who can’t even make Top Gear his primary focus? International viewers have a right to be concerned here, but residents of the United Kingdom have even more cause for alarm, as every household there pays a ‘license fee’ – money which supports the BBC and funds everything from new episodes of Doctor Who through to Top Gear. There’s going to be some understandably grouchy people if Chris Evans is getting paid £3 million to work just 20 hours a week…
As usual, we’ll have to wait until May 8th to see how the new version of Top Gear plays out. But I must admit I’m rather worried.