Top Gear viewing plunged under Chris Evans
Chris Evans' disastrous spell as Top Gear host saw the BBC lose more than half of its audience on iPlayer as viewers deserted the broadcaster's flagship show.
Evans - who quit the show earlier this month - had insisted the new Top Gear was a 'hit' and had pointed to the show's catch-up viewing as a sign of its continued popularity.
He had accused newspapers of 'living in the past' for not taking into account these figures and said the show was 'repositioning the way' people watch TV.
But figures obtained by Business Insider have revealed the number of people watching the BBC's flagship show on iPlayer fell from 2 million for the first episode to 800,000 for episode five.
This mirrored the declining Sunday night audience with 4.3 million viewers tuning into the first episode on May 29, dipping to fewer than 2 million for its final showing on July 3.
This was less than the number who tuned into the new series of Robot Wars last week.
Evans had earlier said his new show would not be considered a success if it was not watched by more than 5 million viewers.
The previous series of Top Gear, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May had attracted 5.3 million viewers for the final episode last June. It also averaged more than two million viewers for each episode on iPlayer.
Fighting back on Twitter after the first episode, Evans did not mention the 4.3 million figure but wrote: 'The new Top Gear is a hit. OFFICIALLY'.
After overnight audience for the show dropped to just 1.9 million for the final episode, Evans, who became known as 'Mr Shouty', quit the show.
He said he felt he 'gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough', adding 'the team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best'.
His resignation came just hours after police confirmed he was being investigated over claims he sexually assaulted a woman in the 1990s.
He was pictured last week pulling over on the side of the M4 near Heathrow, drinking Remy Martin cognac and exposing himself as he urinated in nearby bushes with a friend. He claimed he was celebrating the end of the TV show.
Attention now turns to Clarkson, Hammond and May, whose new venture with Amazon - the Grand Tour - is expected to be released in the Autumn.