‘Top Gear’ and ‘Extra Gear’ presenter Rory Reid has said he was surprised at the level of hostility directed towards the show when Chris Evans took over as host. The presenter likened joining the show to being ‘parachuted into a war’, but said overall it was intense but rewarding experience.

Top Gear teamRory Reid was part of ‘Top Gear’s’ revamped line-up.

“It’s been a very intense experience – intense is probably the best word. Way more involved than I ever thought any show could be. The level of scrutiny that the show is under has just been absolutely immense,” he told Redbull.com.

“The way I thought about it was like being a soldier parachuted into a war, and you have some people that are on your side, and some people that are not on your side, and then you have the rest of them who are just watching to see what happens anyway.”

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“So it’s been an incredibly intense experience, but really, really rewarding at the same time.” Reid said he was surprised at the level of scrutiny the show was under, adding that he expected them just to be judged on how they did their job.

“It’s not just a TV show – it’s an institution,” he continued. “It’s like if the Wu-Tang Clan took over from One Direction. The fans of One Direction would be like, ‘What the hell are we watching, who are these people?’

“Even if the music they made was good, or comparable, the fact that you’ve got massively different people taking over from something that you’ve watched and loved for years – that’s a massive challenge for people to get used to.”

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Reid added that he hadn't yet signed a contract for the new series, but he expects it will be very different after the departure of Chris Evans. “Let’s assume that everyone except Chris Evans remains on the show; then I think that the format has to change,” he said.

“I think they’d incorporate the rest of us to make it like an ensemble piece. We’ll see what happens, but I expect it to be a pretty big change, and that things will be pretty different for series 24.”