BBC brushes aside post-Top Gear ratings concerns

The BBC has sought to downplay any negative effect on audience numbers despite the absence of its hit motoring magazine show Top Gear from its schedules, insisting that it has a strong autumn line-up of programming to counteract this loss.

Even though the show won't air this year following the departure of its regular hosts, it remains one of the most popular shows on iPlayer but with a lack of fresh content this popularity is expected to steadily wane.

Brushing such concerns aside Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, told Digital Spy: “Top Gear is obviously one of a number of very popular programmes available on iPlayer, but we've got a very strong autumn schedule

“With Doctor Who, Strictly, The Apprentice, The Voice and Sherlock coming up - and, of course, Top Gear will be back - I don't think we'll see anything in terms of [a drop in] total usage of iPlayer.”

Insisting that this confidence is well placed, Watt went on to cite changes in behaviour of iPlayer viewers, observing that more people are now logging on to find something to watch rather than use it as a catch-up service for specific shows.

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond recently signed a deal with Amazon Prime to bring a motoring show to the streaming service.

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