Top Gear BBC2 slot sheds 3m viewers as ratings dip for second week following Jeremy Clarkson's suspension

Top Gear replacement Caribbean With Simon Reeve drew 2.1m viewers

Daisy Wyatt
Monday 23 March 2015 12:32 GMT
Former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are rumoured to be talking to rival broadcasters
Former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are rumoured to be talking to rival broadcasters (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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The BBC’s decision to cancel the three remaining episodes of Top Gear has continued to dent the broadcaster’s ratings for the second week running.

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.

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 petition urging for the BBC to reinstate Clarkson on Top Gear has been signed by more than 1 million people since his suspension.

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.”

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