Reports have come in that the successful English presenter and businessman can only devote four hours per day to the show due to his other commitments. The culprit? His long-running morning radio show on BBC Radio 2. Evans begins his day at 4:45 a.m. from Monday to Friday where he hits the station at 6:30 a.m. to start his breakfast show. The show runs for three hours before Evans promptly moves to the Top Gear set at 10 a.m. According to Yahoo! UK, Evans becomes “useless” and fried” after the four hour stint due to his morning commitments. By 2 p.m. “on the dot” he’s out the door and on the way to pick up his children.
That kind of conduct is fine so long as it’s in an agreed contract but what’s raising the eyebrows of the show’s producers and fans alike is Evans’ pay packet – a US$4.27 million contract over three years which equates to 20 hours of work a week. On top of that, Jeremy Clarkson has been known to be a workaholic when it came to his Top Gear duties and many attribute this to the show’s mammoth success in the past. Some are worried that with Evans’ questionable work ethic and the show’s existing expectations, there’ll be little room for compromise let alone half work days.
Add to this that Evans has been vocally pushing for the same level of control that Clarkson and former executive producer Andy Wilman had and things could get even more perilous for the revamped segment. Should this be a concern for fans? Perhaps. For the Brits however a more immediate concern exists. UK residents pay something called a license fee which pays for shows like Top Gear, Doctor Who and EastEnders as well as Evans’ own radio show. The moment the British public sense that those fees are being wasted, their concerns will be heard by upper management.
Only time will tell if Evans and his new cohort of presenters can deliver the results when the first episode airs in May. Meanwhile we can see Clarkson, May and Hammond laughing and rubbing their hands over at their new Amazon headquarters.