New Top Gear a ‘bigger hit’ than Clarkson’s show is week’s funniest statement

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to read today: The BBC is claiming the new series of Top Gear is proving a bigger hit than the Jeremy Clarkson-hosted series… at least globally.

The BBC says that despite its awful ratings performance domestically, the Chris Evans-fronted series has performed better around the world than its predecessors.

The chief executive of the for-profit BBC Worldwide division says the current season has been sold into over 130 countries around the world, beating previous the series.

“I am very happy with programme sales,” said Tim Davie (via Guardian).

“[Chris Evans’s Top Gear] has sold into over 130 territories which is very strong and marginal growth versus the previous season [Clarkson’s last].”

See also: Top Gear is coming to Netflix

That’s somewhat surprising considering only 1.9 million viewers turned in for episode six of the new Top Gear season, shortly before Evans stepped down as host, claiming his best shot wasn’t good enough.

Not a single episode of the show under Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond brought in less than 2 million viewers.

Despite the bleak outlook for the rebooted BBC 2 hit, Davie said the future is bright for its flagship global franchise highlighting the 300m plus views recorded on digital services in China.

“It is absolutely the case I think that Top Gear remains in very good health,” he said. “It is a work in progress and we will have to see how it goes. I remain optimistic about Top Gear and its growth potential over the coming years.”

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