Clarkson refuses to comment on new Top Gear
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Jeremy Clarkson and James May today refused to add to the chorus of criticism about the new Top Gear, with Clarkson saying he is too busy making a his rival show.
Its BBC debut last night only brought in 4.3million viewers - a million less than the last show of the previous series - and disgruntled fans also slammed its new presenting duo of Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
Speaking at his west London penthouse flat today Mr Clarkson told MailOnline he was unable to give his own critique of last night's Top Gear because he is 'busy working on my new show', adding: 'I will talk to you another time'.
The 56-year-old returned from Monaco late last night, where he was watching the grand prix, and may have missed the new show where Chris Evans joked about his rival's sacking for punching producer Oisin Tymon and also celebrated getting 'custody' of The Stig.
Jeremy Clarkson refusing to comment on new Top Gear.
James May told MailOnline he saw the show last night and was a 'massive fan' but would not be drawn on the poor ratings and reviews. Richard Hammond is yet to comment.
The trio left Top Gear last year after Clarkson was fired - and will be releasing their own Amazon Prime show called The Grand Tour, which is out in the Autumn.
Chris Evans today denied the new series of Top Gear is a flop even though it lost up to a million loyal viewers and fans called the debut 'disastrous'.
Presenter Chris Evans was nicknamed 'Mr Shouty' and a 'poor man's Clarkson' as viewers criticised his 'no banter' presenting style while former Friends star Matt LeBlanc was called 'Mr Wooden' as his debut was also hammered.
Fighting back today Mr Evans did not mention the 4.3million figure, but tweeted: 'The new Top Gear is a hit. OFFICIALLY'.
He added: 23% audience share. 12% MORE than the opening episode of the last series. These are the FACTS. Top Gear audience grew throughout the hour. FACT. Won its slot. FACT. Still number one on iPlayer. FACT. These are THE FACTS folks.'
But last week he said his new show would not be considered a success if it is not watched by more than 5million viewers - an average of 4.3million watched last night.
Yesterday Mr Evans prepared himself for the show's debut by reading the papers over a quiet pint in a Surrey pub near his mansion.
Chris Evans had a dig at Clarkson in the first two minutes of the new Top Gear last night - joking about his rival's sacking for punching Tymon and calling him a 'lazy Irish c***' because he couldn't order a steak dinner after a long day of filming in March last year.
He started the show by introducing staff from his local Indian restaurant and asked the audience what they thought they were doing there - one person suggested they were there to prepare the food, and Evans said: 'By the way, we don't talk about catering on this show any more.'
Clarkson, May and Hammond, stayed silent on Twitter as the new Top Gear went out last night, but Clarkson's daughter Emily tweeted: 'Nope. Not even a little bit convinced'.
Since outspoken Radio DJ Evans took over from Clarkson, the BBC show has suffered a series of setbacks - with tales of producers quitting, cast and crew rowing and celebrity guests pulling out all putting the series in jeopardy.
Last week Evans told MailOnline they had produced the best show they could and also told the Guardian: 'If we had to guess about the number of viewers we are going to get on Sunday night, you have got to say you would be disappointed if it was under 5 million'.