Chris Evans is renowned worldwide as a top entertainment personality. Evans is a radio and TV presenter and is recognized as having changed the face of U.K. television with his TFI Friday show. As the presenter of BBC Radio 2’s coveted breakfast show, Evans has cemented his position as the British nation’s favorite presenter. Evans is also a car enthusiast, so he was a natural choice to succeed Jeremy Clarkson as the host of the hit BBC show Top Gear. Chris will bring charm, wit, and a sense of fun to a show that certainly suffered as a result of Clarkson’s histrionics.
Clarkson, you may remember, was sacked by the BBC after he allegedly assaulted one of the Top Gear production crew members in a row over whether or not he could have steak for dinner. With Clarkson’s co-hosts following him out of the show, BBC bosses saw Evans as the perfect man to revitalise the show.
Evans has run into some criticism during the filming of the next season of Top Gear. According to the Guardian, Chris was forced to apologize after filming of stunts was carried out close to London’s Cenotaph war memorial. Evans said he was mortified by the pictures that showed his co-host Matt Le Blanc and a stunt driver performing “donuts” and hand-brake turns close to the memorial.
The furore seems to have acted as a spur to Dan Wootton of U.K tabloid the Sun. In recent weeks, the Sun has launched a series of attacks on Evans. Most recently, he claimed that Chris was “out of control” and that he was “more volatile” than Clarkson. They go on to claim that Evans is “acting like a diva,” and they claim that Chris has upset his crew. Wootton cites his normal “unnamed source” when he says one recent incident saw Evans “shout so viciously that the producer was reduced to tears and an engineer had to tell him to stop.”
The BBC is renowned as the most conservative of corporations, and it isn’t often that you see them come out swinging but they most certainly have come out fighting in defense of Evans. BBC bosses had the Sun firmly in its sights when they released a statement claiming that the tabloids claims were “unfounded nonsense.”
“The assertion that Chris Evans’ behaviour at Radio 2 since beginning work at Top Gear has been in any way below BBC acceptable levels is completely untrue.
“The Sun, for its own reasons, continues on a weekly, sometimes daily basis to publish negative stories about Top Gear and unfounded nonsense about Chris, which is no longer worth any serious consideration or response.”
Evans was praised for his “commitment and professionalism” and for his efforts on behalf of the children’s charity Children In Need.
“[Chris Evans] remains a team player, a huge asset to the BBC and continues to show outstanding leadership in all he does on radio, television or for Children in Need.”
The BBC initially sent its comments direct to the Sun, but it was sent to the Guardian after the Sun refused to print the statement and used only a small part of it online. While the BBC were fierce in their criticism of the Sun, they were restrained in failing to mention the close links between the Sun and Jeremy Clarkson.
Clarkson writes a column in the Sun’s sister paper the Times and is known to be a close friend of News Corp’s U.K. chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Ms. Brooks, you may remember, was right at the center of the U.K.’s phone hacking scandal. A cynic might suggest that the Sun is hardly impartial when it comes to reporting on Chris Evans.
Evans supporters will no doubt recall the Sun being forced to admit that it published false stories. Some may also think that if Chris Evans is being attacked by Dan Wootton in the Sun, he must be doing something right.
[Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]