The newly forged Top Gear team is facing additional hardship before its first episode has even aired. A source from inside the British Broadcasting Company stated the budget for the new Top Gear show has been cut by more than half.
The move by the BBC is motivated partly by the latest revelation of co-presenter, Chris Evans, who only works four hours a day on Top Gear on his £5 million salary. The stunt in front of the Cenotaph, which angered many Londoners, was also cited by the source as another reason for “reduction in operations.”
Fearing outrage and backlash from the public, the 93 year old media company scaled back the rebooted Top Gear’s budget across the entire program, affecting the schedule and the entire film and production staff.
Even the team of presenters was not spared during this program-wide budget drill, as YouTube star Rory Reid, Formula one pundit Eddie Jordan, and automotive journalist and racing driver Chris Harris, have all been let go. The insider source stated:
Firing Rory was an easy call in everyone’s eyes as no one’s really had the chance to know him in person. They (the BBC executives) also liked the fact that he stood at the end in the promo shot which meant they didn’t need to retake the photos, they can just crop him out…
Chris Harris getting the boot was a tough call because he showed the most promise and talent out of the bunch, but the fact that there are two Chrises in the show was a real headache for the writers, and they didn’t like that. In the end if there could only be three presenters, there can’t be two Chrises, that’s just chaotic!…
When asked about the firing of Eddie Jordan:
It’s a real shame that EJ was sacked but they thought he was the next easiest to let go, because of his age. They wanted the programme to last a while and didn’t want to see hosts dying off midway…
The firing of the three presenters meant former Friends cast Matt LeBlanc and broadcaster Chris Evans have been spared, despite the controversies they caused and getting the show in hot water. The remaining presenter, Sabine Schmitz, was also spared because “the producers all thought she could really drive, and they needed someone who’s beaten Jeremy (Clarkson) around the Nurburging in a transit van.”
The broadcast of the new Top Gear was already delayed due to a number of factors, and in lieu of finishing the planned six episodes the available footage will be edited to produce three complete episodes, fulfilling the new budget requirements. The show will still air on BBC Two on Sundays starting May 22nd, however reruns of Top Gear, starring Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne, will be used to fill the void in the program’s broadcast schedule.