Bob Mortimer: Chris Evans is a timebomb
Comedian Bob Mortimer has warned 'Top Gear' producers that new show host Chris Evans is a "timebomb"
Bob Mortimer has warned 'Top Gear' producers that Chris Evans is a "timebomb".
The 56 year-old comedian spoke out following claims that the show's new presenter's behaviour led to executive producer Lisa Clark quitting the programme - which has since been rubbished.
Bob took to Twitter to voice his concerns about the 'Top Gear' host, writing: "Well we'll soon see if [director general] Tony Hall meant what he said about talent abusing their power at the BBC #topgeartimebomb. (sic)"
This isn't the first time the comic has made a reference to Chris on the social networking site, previously branding the 'TFI Friday' host "entitled".
In January, he wrote: "That guilty pleasure where U feel a bit entitled and superior cos people have to let you off the train before they get on #ChrisEvansLife (sic)"
Lisa, a long-time colleague of Evans harking back to her work on 'The Big Breakfast' in the 1990s, quit 'Top Gear' in December after five months in the role.
It is claimed she departed the programme after warning Chris about the filming schedule, and she is said to have hired his new co-host Matt LeBlanc against his wishes.
A source recently said: "Evans didn't normally turn up to a lot of meetings, but at this one he said he had completed some footage with Jenson Button.
"Lisa replied, 'Yes but we need to make more than 30 films. It's not enough'. He shot her a look for undermining him and she was soon gone.
"It was Lisa who suggested Matt, but Evans' reply was, 'He's old hat, what do we want him for?'."
However, these claims have since been denied by acting director of BBC Television Mark Linsey.
He said: "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 - whether his Radio 2 show, 'Children In Need' or 'Top Gear' - and we are extremely fortunate to have him leading the show.
"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."
'Top Gear' script editor Tom Ford and BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw have also recently departed.
The 'Top Gear' re-launch has been put back a fortnight from May 8 to May 22 and the series cut from eight to six episodes.