Chris Evans dubs former ‘Top Gear’ hosts ‘Zippy, Bungle and George’

Evans denies recent tabloid rumours regarding BBC motoring series

Chris Evans has hit back at Top Gear critics and labeled former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond as “Zippy, Bungle and George”.

Evans took over as host of the BBC motoring show in 2015 after Clarkson’s time came to an acrimonious end. Filming of the new version is underway ahead of its return in May but has proven problematic with key figures from the backroom staff quitting and negative rumours of Evans’ on-set behaviour regularly appearing in tabloid newspapers.

Taking the chance to answer his critics, Evans opened his Mail on Sunday column yesterday in combative form and leveled the Rainbow reference at his predecessors. “Today I will be mostly on my travels again, this time going to Venice with That Car Show,” he wrote.

“Good title, don’t you think? For a car show. That’s what I would have retitled Top Gear had Zippy, Bungle and George announced some irretrievable divine right over the original name. Either that or Carmageddon, which I’ve always fancied.”

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Evans went on to dismiss the idea that he has behaved badly while filming, writing: “Just a small point here. We don’t actually have a set yet for me to misbehave on.

“Not only has it not been built, but we have only just signed off the final design. Once it is built, however, I promise I will try not to let the “insider” down.”

Earlier this month Evans was forced to apologise after a Top Gear stunt with co-host Matt LeBlanc was filmed on London war memorial The Cenotaph. The scenes shot will not make it to screen when the series returns in May.