BBC will move Top Gear’s final episode to an earlier slot IF England win their next Euro 2016 match

BBC2 will broadcast the Chris Evans motoring show at 6.30pm provided England win their Last 16 knockout match and make the quarter-finals on Sunday 3 July


Overnight ratings do not matter, says Chris Evans. Except, it seems, when your motoring show clashes with a possible England Euro 2016 football match.


The BBC is planning to move Top Gear’s final episode in the current run to an earlier 6.30pm slot in order to avoid its prime time motoring show colliding with Euro 2016.

However, the evening’s TV line-up will ultimately lie in the hands of the England football team.

If England win their Last 16 match this Monday, then they will play their quarter-final match at 8pm on Sunday 3rd July, in a fixture expected to be screened on BBC1.

Sunday 3rd July is also set to be the final episode of Top Gear. So, if England do get through, Top Gear will move from 8pm to 6.30pm on BBC2. A film repeat of Leonardo DiCaprio movie Catch Me if You Can will air at 7.30pm.

However, all this depends on whether England make it through the Last 16. If England lose, then Top Gear will air at 8pm as normal.

Effectively, the channel has published two provisional schedules for Sunday 3 July.

The move is sensible, but it flies in the face of assertions made by Chris Evans, who has claimed that he is unbothered by the show’s performance in the overnight ratings compared with iPlayer performance.

Top Gear has indeed struggled in the overnight ratings, and its poor performance is worrying leading BBC executives according to sources.

The most recent 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 overnight audience for any episode of Top Gear since the motoring show was reinvented by Jeremy Clarkson in 2002.

The edition was also slightly down on the previous 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.


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 luxury cars. Adventurer Bear Grylls and physicist Brian Cox were the Stars in a RallyCross Car.