Life

Top Gear still entertaining as Evans drives off into the sunset

Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans who has resigned after just six episodes of Top Gear and racing car driver 'The Stig'.

Top Gear BBC 2 Sunday, 8pm.

If you fancied watching a gripping drama this week, full of espionage, back stabbing and deceit, you need only turn on Sky News for the latest update on post referendum British politics.

Failing that there's no end of frivolity at the minute to distract you from economic uncertainty and political treachery on a scale that makes House of Cards look like an episode of Teletubbies.

It wasn't just politicians who fell on their sword this week, Chris Evans also resigned as the presenter of Top Gear amid ratings that were in free-fall.

In fairness to the ginger one the show was being shown at the same time as the football, and given the laddish nature of the car programme and its target audience that was always going to be fatal for viewing figures.

There's also the change in how we all watch tv now, mainly on catch-up at a time that suits our lives. My parents are the only people I know who still watch television at the time the schedulers would prefer.

I was a fan of Top Gear way, way back and then sort of fell out with the programme. Mainly because Jeremy Clarkson's face upset me.

This overpaid ignoramus had been involved in numerous scandals before he decked a producer, making him unemployable even for an organisation as forgiving as the BBC.

There was a lot of speculation as to who would be his replacement with many names thrown in the hat before finally landing on Evans and former Friends star Matt LeBlanc.

I'll confess to not having watched the new line up until Evans announced he was leaving. I don't have £132,000 to buy a car that can't even be driven on a road, so it wasn't top of my priority list.

But given all the negative commentary I wanted to judge for myself if it was really that rubbish.

And you know what, it's not bad at all, in fact I thought it was very good.

I love that there's a load of extra presenters, rather than just three posh blokes sharing in jokes none of the rest of us get. Eddie Jordan is funny and knowledgeable, Sabine Schmitz is awesome in every way and LeBlanc has a lovely warmth to him.

Even Evans wasn't that bad, albeit he seems to be cast in a supporting rather than leading role.

Granted it's not as laddish as the old line up but surely that's a good thing.

What I don't like is the change to the guest celebrity lap, the rally cross car just doesn't work, hammering around a race track in a reasonably priced car was far more fun and separated the real driver from the chauffeured divas.

What'll happen now to the BBC's most successful brand remains to be seen, but sure at least it was a momentary distraction from the looming apocalypse.

I just hope they don't bring back Clarkson and start a trend, first him then Farage and Boris. Perish the thought.

****

Celebrity MasterChef BBC 1, 8pm.

I know I've said it before but I do love MasterChef and the celebrity version is consistently, unintentionally hilarious.

Sinitta made an appearance in week one and from what she managed to produce it was clear she has a team of staff for all domestic duties and no idea where the kitchen in her house is even located.

I've two clear favourites to win already, the utterly adorable Rev Richard Cole, formerly of The Communards and journalist Louise Minchin.

It's an old format but it just works, telly prozac at the end of a stressful day.

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