The BBC has dismissed reports of Chris Evans’ alleged “unprofessional behaviour” while filming the new-look series of Top Gear.
The BBC motoring series is set to relaunch in May with Evans as host. Previous stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond parted ways with the show last year following a bust-up between Clarkson and one of the show’s producers.
Tabloid reports recently claimed that Evans was instrumental in executive producer Lisa Clark leaving the show and that he was against Friends actor Matt LeBlanc joining the ensemble cast of new co-presenters.
BBC News reports that acting director of BBC Television Mark Linsey described the reports as “simply not true”, adding: “It is rubbish to suggest Chris Evans’ 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… and we are extremely fortunate to have him leading the show.”
The statement adds: “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.”
Alongside Evans and LeBlanc, the show’s new co-presenters will include ex-Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan, German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, journalist Rory Reid and Top Gear fan-favourite The Stig.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Clarkson recently apologised to the Top Gear producer he punched as he settled a £100,000 racial discrimination and injury claim.