Top Gear’s usual 8pm slot on BBC2 was replaced last night with new series Caribbean With Simon Reeve following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension by the BBC.
The travel show drew 2.1 million viewers, in comparison to the last episode of Top Gear broadcast two weeks ago, which was watched by 5.1 million people.
However, Caribbean With Simon Reeve performed better than last week’s RAF documentary replacement, Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble, which drew just 1.3 million viewers.
Freeview channel Dave made the most of the BBC's decision to pull the remaining Top Gear episodes, choosing to air an old Top Gear special about the source of the Nile at 8pm.
Things you never knew about Top Gear
Things you never knew about Top Gear
1/14 Top Gear isn't really for adults
It's 'aimed at people with a mental age of nine', according to executive producer Andy Wilman.
2/14 Planet Earth loves it...
Top Gear is screened in more than 100 countries worldwide and has millions of fans.
3/14 ...but not all motoring hacks do
You might think Jezza was a hero of the motoring hack world but that's not strictly accurate. Telegraph journalist Neil Lyndon summed Top Gear's 21st birthday last year up well: 'Does that mean Billy Bunter and his gang finally get forced out of the Fourth Remove and into long trousers?'
4/14 The Top Gear theme tune is a classic rock song
Seven-minute instrumental 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers was a hit in 1973. Top Gear has recorded its own version now but used part of the original recording at first. One for the road trip playlist.
5/14 Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get much more controversial if he tried
The presenter is currently suspended from the BBC following a 'fracas' with a producer over a steak dinner. Past scandals include a string of racism allegations.
6/14 This Porsche caused all sorts of trouble in Argentina
The Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina after locals took offence at the car's number plate - believing it was a deliberately provocative reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
7/14 If it's car-buying advice you want, look elsewhere
It's an in-joke in Top Gear that they don't do car tests. You would be mad to make a purchases based on Jezza's verdict.
8/14 Richard Hammond had a near-death experience filming Top Gear
The 'Hamster' was filming a Top Gear segment in a dragster called Vampire when its front-right tyre burst at 288mph. Hammond spent two weeks in a coma but luckily went on to make a full recovery. He requested that no mention of the crash was made in future Top Gear episodes.
9/14 Jeremy Clarkson is more than a little bit taller than Richard Hammond
Nine inches, to be precise.
10/14 Top Gear used to offer real advice
Before these lads took over, it was a real car-reviewing show with presenters such as Angela Rippon, who gave practical reviews of down-to-earth workhorses such as Cavaliers or Mini Metros.
11/14 Those 'reasonably priced' cars take quite a battering
Denis Chick, of Vauxhall, is brave to have lent the show a fleet of his Astras. He said: "Vauxhall Astra sales would not improve if everyone drove like Jimmy Carr around the Dunsfold track." The comedian hilariously took his test car's front off-side tyre clean off its rim.
12/14 Jeremy Clarkson is a YouTube star
Stray down the motoring internet hole and you'll find lovingly posted videos of 'Clarkson the early years' with incredibly loud hair reviewing 1990s cars in an oddly sensible manner. Very disturbing viewing.
13/14 There have been multiple Stigs
Racing driver Perry McCarthy was stuntsman The Stig on the first two series of Top Gear - here's the man under that famous helmet.
14/14 Ben Collins was The Stig for eight years
Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. He left amid a clash with the BBC when he unmasked his identity and published an autobiography. Collins thinks Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle'.
The BBC has yet to decide whether to reinstate Clarkson as the show’s lead presenter after he was dismissed following a ‘fracas’ with a producer on set two weeks ago.
Top Gear live shows due to be held in Norway this month have been cancelled as Clarkson waits to hear whether he will face disciplinary action.
An investigation into the 54-year-old’s suspension is expected to conclude by the end of the week.
A report about the incident on set is due to be handed to BBC director general Tony Hall, who will consider the evidence and “set out any further steps”.
A change.org petition urging for the BBC to reinstate Clarkson on Top Gear has been signed by more than 1 million people since his suspension.
Many many thanks to all of the people who have called for my reinstatement. I'm very touched. We shall all learn next week what will happen.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 20, 2015
The presenter thanked his supporters on Friday, writing on Twitter: “Many, many thanks to all of the people who have called for my reinstatement. I’m very touched. We shall all learn next week what will happen.”