Top Gear slips below 2.4 million viewers

Overnight ratings thought to be lower than anything Jeremy Clarkson got in 13 years

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Top Gear with Chris Evans took on a Venice theme last night and it looks like viewing figures for the BBC2 show are sinking just like the famous Italian city.

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The fourth episode in the current run drew an audience of just 2.34 million viewers, a share of 10.4% of the total available viewing over the 8pm hour, according to the overnight ratings.

This is believed to be the lowest audience for any episode of Top Gear since the motoring show was reinvented by Jeremy Clarkson in 2002.

Top Gear’s lowest overnight audience is understood to be the 2.362 million who watched the sixth episode of the second Clarkson series on 15 June 2003.

Last night an edition of Coronation Street got nearly twice the number of viewers, averaging 4.57 million between 7.30 and 8.30pm, a share of 21.3%. 

The soap had an additional 827,000 watching the ITV HD Channel, a share of 1.4%. When it was airing against Top Gear, the ITV show held steady with an average of more than 4.5m viewers on the main channel and 826,000 on the HD Channel.

Top Gear was competing with the Switzerland v France Euro 2016 game on BBC1, which averaged 6.29 million for the entirety of the programme between 7.30pm and 10.05pm.

On Channel 4, Penelope Keith at Her Majesty’s Service averaged 1.17 million, a share of 5.2%.

Last night’s Top Gear was also slightly down on last week’s showing when the show pulled in 2.37m viewers. Episode two attracted 2.8m according to the overnights, with the opening episode averaging 4.4 million viewers.

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Sunday night’s show was the fourth in the six part run and saw new hosts Chris Evans, Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and Matt LeBlanc head for Venice in cheap second hand cars. Adventurer Bear Grylls and physicist Brian Cox were the Stars in a RallyCross Car.