Series 24 of Top Gear cannot be compared to the hit series fronted by Jeremy Clarkson, according to the boss of BBC2. Patrick Holland, controller of BBC2, said the show, fronted by Matt LeBlanc with Chris Harris and Rory Reid, has become a hit with younger viewers.
“We’ve got a much healthier audience this year,” Holland said. “The response to the show has been much more positive. Audience appreciation scores are far higher than last year. It’s a big show for BBC2.”
With the inevitable comparison to the old-new-Top Gear fronted by Clarkson, May and Hammond, Holland said: “You can’t compare it with that show. That was Jeremy and James and Richard’s show, that was then, we’re now. You’re looking at two completely different shows.”
“We have turned over a new leaf,” he added. “It’s a new team. Chris and Rory have been fantastic and Matt has been terrific in the films and he’s really started to enjoy the studios more and more. The audience is younger. Young people really love the new Top Gear.”
He admitted: “The doubt at the beginning, as we all had – not all had but that’s the fear when a show comes back – is, ‘will the audience grow to like this new presenting combo?’, and we’re starting again this year and I think they really have.
“Chris and Rory have really grown and Matt has made it his own show.”