He called him a c**t when the Top Gear line-up was announced, later deleting the remark, and now comedian Bob Mortimer has taken aim at Chris Evans again on Twitter, dubbing him a “ticking time bomb”.
Mortimer was responding to reports in The Sun which have recently surfaced claiming that sources on the show had branded Evans a “control freak”, and Shooting Stars host Mortimer certainly seems to agree.
The 56-year-old took to Twitter and wrote: “Well we’ll soon see if Tony Hall meant what he said about talent abusing their power at the BBC #TopGearTimeBomb.”
Mortimer spoke out after it was claimed that Evans’ style on the show led to the resignation of executive producer Lisa Clark who quit in December.
Recent reports have also claimed that Evans originally didn’t want to hire co-host Matt LeBlanc, who was recently announced as part of the new line-up alongside Chris Harris, Sabine Schmidt, Eddie Jordan and Rory Reid.
However, Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television has moved to refute claims that Evans is “unprofessional”, stressing that he is a “passionate presenter” and that it was “simply not true” to say he was against LeBlanc joining the show.
In a statement, he said: “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.”
The relaunch of the show will take place on May 22 and the series has been cut from eight to six episodes.
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1