Top Gear: Chris Evans vows to get 'even more shouty'. And he does

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Top Gear: Chris Evans vows to get 'even more shouty'. And he does

June 06, 2016 - 11:03
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Week two of the new unimproved Top Gear and Chris Evans’ dreadful Jeremy Clarkson impression isn’t getting any better.

Top Gear

Week two of the new unimproved Top Gear and Chris Evans’ dreadful Jeremy Clarkson impression isn’t getting any better.

He’s still desperately trying to be funny. And still failing. But you can tell when he thinks he’s being hilarious because he opens his mouth wide and yells.

At the start of another mediocre show Matt LeBlanc wheeled his co-star into the studio on a hospital trolley. It wasn’t clear what the actual joke was supposed to be. But this was one of those tumbleweed moments when canned laughter really comes into its own.

Then, awaking from his pretend coma, the deafening host boomed: “Tonight I get even more shouty!” He wasn’t kidding. Throughout a high decibel hour, never once did he turn the volume down. Does he have any idea how irritating it is? No.

“It’s so loud!” roared Chris loudly as he charged around in a £260,000 sports car he liked so much he bought it. All hail the people’s multi-millionaire. He’s one of us.

Anyway, most of the plodding programme was taken up with an interminable tour of South Africa as Evans, Matt LeBlanc and Eddie Jordan teamed up with some random pop stars to road test SUV vehicles.

Thanks to the stunning scenery and exotic wildlife this glamorous excursion wasn’t nearly as bad as that appalling three-wheeler race to Blackpool. But it lacked four ingredients… Clarkson, Hammond, May and a decent script.

Take it away Matt: “As we left civilisation behind the drive just got better and better and better.” Unlike the writing.

Meanwhile, Chris was with an old American guy with a beard and kept bursting into fits of giggles as if they were delivering TV comedy of the highest order. They weren’t. They were spilling cocktails for no particular reason.

In other news, spotting a few zebras, Tinie Tempah sensationally revealed: “They’re my favourite animals in the whole world.” Great, good to know. “Oh my God… giraffes!” added Sharleen Spiteri. And so the quick-fire repartee continued.

When Matt and Tinie had to spend the night in a very small tent, Chris quipped: “Look at the size of their tent!” Laser-like wit.

Back at the studio he was on top form again. “Do you miss your tiny tent?” he asked Matt. “Do you miss your Tinie Tempah?” See what he did there?  Either way, it didn’t matter because Mr Tempah was conspicuous by his absence.

The star in a rally-cross car is basically a Mini ploughing through a puddle. Damian Lewis clocked the fastest speed so far. Sadly, clogging up more than 15 tedious minutes, this sluggish feature is far too slow.

But boy did Uriah Evans give likeable Lewis a tough grilling. And he’s off: “Not only are you ace at football, brilliant at golf, you’re an accomplished cricketer… but you’re also Nick Brody in Homeland.” Watch out Jeremy Paxman, there’s a new grand inquisitor in town.

Just before the credits, Eddie did a Clarkson. “And on that bombshell,” he said. “We don’t do that anymore,” snarled Matt. Why not? You do everything else Jeremy and the boys used to do.

The new Top Gear is like watching the old version in a parallel universe where all the style has gone. It looks the same… but it’s disastrously different. And vastly inferior.

But if you dare to mention that BBC2 is now producing a pale imitation of Clarkson’s tour de force, the shouty Mr Evans will shout you down.

After the launch episode’s deeply disappointing viewing figures of 4.3million, Chris went on the offensive and insisted that his dismal debut had been an unmitigated triumph. Fact… it wasn’t.  Fact... viewing figures for episode two: 2.8million. Fact... it's downhill all the way.

By the end of the series, I can just picture the scene. With the plummeting ratings down to single figures, there’s an angry ginger man running around BBC HQ screaming: “It’s a hit! It’s a hit. It’s a hit!” But it’s not. And on that bombshell…