The Lighter side of life with Kate Mason: Critics getting all revved up about the new Top Gear

Top Gear 2016:  Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc - (C) BBC World Wide Limited 2016 - Photographer: BBC World Wide 2016

Top Gear 2016: Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc - (C) BBC World Wide Limited 2016 - Photographer: BBC World Wide 2016

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After months of hype surrounding the launch of the new Top Gear series the show has finally screeched on to our screens. And according to the media the TV favourite is already a car crash.

We’re only two episodes in but newspaper columns bemoaning the demise of one of the BBC’s most treasured shows are a daily occurrence.

And the man being blamed for the show apparently backfiring in such dramatic fashion? New host Chris Evans.

“He’s brash, he’s gobby, he’s an ego-maniac” according to scathing reviews and social media comments calling for the ginger-haired presenter to be replaced.

Reading the daily attacks on the host, one could be forgiven for thinking Chris Evans was in the dock for a hit and run rather than his presenting skills.

But’s let’s just reverse here - what has Chris actually done wrong?

I tuned in to the first two shows with an open mind and a keen interest to see how Chris and Matt LeBlanc -aka Joey from Friends - would fair and I have to say I’ve been impressed.

Matt is charismatic and seems to have a genuine camaraderie with Chris - despite what the papers may have us believe about behind the scenes spats.

Most importantly the passion and excitement these two have for cars is obvious for all to see and translates well on screen.

The fact is anyone who replaced Jeremy Clarkson was going to be in for a rough ride.

Clarkson was synonymous with the show.

But, while the middle-aged moaning men vibe he had built up with Hammond and May was amusing, it was starting to feel like it was all running on empty.

Clarkson was like an old classic car - a rare hybrid, the kind one gets attached to but is unreliable, unpredictable and could break down on you at any moment.

And true to form Clarkson did break down - in dramatic fashion and was finally and deservedly given the boot by TV bosses.

In light of Clarkson and co’s departure the show needed a turbo boost, a new lease of life and for me the new series has accelerated to new levels.

It’s got the Stig, it’s got the crazy challenges in fact it’s got all the classics from the original but with a few new mod-cons and more relevant celebrity guests thrown in for good measure.

At least give the new guys a chance to shine before consigning them to the scrap heap.