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Top Gear relaunch fails to wow critics

Press AssociationPress Association 30/05/2016 Nina Massey

The relaunch of Top Gear, with its all new presenting team, had been eagerly anticipated for months.

With Chris Evans and former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc at the helm, viewers were keen to see how they fared compared to the previous trio of presenters.

And so too were the TV critics. Although none appeared to be overwhelmed by the new show, it did not attract a lot of criticism either.

The Daily Telegraph said that while the new presenters had "sharp things" to say about the vehicles, "the show's trademark flights of savagely funny sarcasm were as thin on the ground as edible grub in service stations".

The Sun review was a little more critical, saying: "If you hadn't seen the old version, BBC2 would have a perfectly serviceable new motoring show on their hands. But we have seen this done before and better.

"So it feels like David Moyes at Man United with a slightly morose version of Joey from Friends as his assistant."

However, the Mirror took a gentler approach to the show. Its review said that even the most fervent Evans hater "would have to admit it burned rubber more times than it crashed and burned".

Saying the show was not "perfect by any means" it added: "Hopefully sulky fans can swallow their pride in time to realise there could be a lot for them to appreciate here too."

The Times took the view that Evans was trying to give the show a more "metrosexual" feel.

It said: "Evans has decided that bigger is better, more is more. The mark of the old Top Gear team was not actually its testosterone but its self-deprecating irony: the cars might be at the height of their powers; their drivers were in the depths of middle age

"It really wasn't very good. The old Top Gear was male, heterosexual, middle-aged, non-metropolitan and would probably vote Leave.

"Here we got a female German racing driver, an American actor, a bonnet piled with Indian chefs and two drag queens. Top Gear has gone metrosexual."

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