BBC boss defends Top Gear host Chris Evans, after rumours of “tyrannical” behaviour and opposition to Matt Le Blanc as co-host

Whole host of problems at Top Gear, as new series is delayed by two weeks

Rumours of new Top Gear host Chris Evans’s “tyrannical behaviour” have been rubbished by acting head of BBC television Mark Linsey.

Top Gear’s executive producer Lisa Clark left the show after just five months, amid reports that fellow BBC employees accused Evans of being a “control freak who thinks he can trample over everyone”.

But Linsey said the claims were unsubstantiated. In a statement he said: “It is rubbish to suggest Chris Evans’s behaviour on the set of Top Gear has been in any way unprofessional.”

“Chris is a consummate professional and a real team-player. He is a passionate presenter who commits his heart and soul into everything he does - whether his Radio 2 show, Children In Need or Top Gear - and we are extremely fortunate to have him leading the show.”

He added that Evans was supportive of Matt Le Blanc’s appointment.

“Also, it is simply not true to suggest Chris did not support the signing of Matt LeBlanc, when he has been behind Matt joining the presenting team since day one.

“Chris and Matt are part of a wider production team that is full of brilliant and talented people. That team is tight-knit, in great spirits and utterly focused on delivering the best possible series for viewers.”

But it has not all been plain sailing, or indeed, driving. The new series of the popular car show has been delayed. The BBC has pushed back the relaunch of the series to May 22 and cut it to just six episodes due to various filming delays.

What a mess.

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