Sunday 25 September 2016

Top Gear producer quit show over Chris Evans' tyrannical behaviour, sources claim

Executive producer Lisa Clark left Top Gear after falling out with its host who is accused of being a 'control freak'

Camilla Turner

Published 27/02/2016 | 13:22

Chris Evans takes part in the first challenge for Top Gear - a UK v USA race from London to Blackpool in Reliant Rialtos
Chris Evans takes part in the first challenge for Top Gear - a UK v USA race from London to Blackpool in Reliant Rialtos

Top Gear’s executive producer Lisa Clark quit the show due to Chris Evans’ tyrannical manner, it has been claimed.

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The host, 49, is accused by fellow BBC employees of being a "control freak who thinks he can trample over everyone". His behaviour is understood to have contributed to Clark's decision to leave after just five months.

Matt LeBlanc with Chris Evans and The Stig
Matt LeBlanc with Chris Evans and The Stig

The revelations came as the BBC pushed the relaunch back a fortnight to May 22 and cut the new series to six episodes due to filming delays.

The corporation is eager to air the new Top Gear series before Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics, and to avoid a clash later in the year with former host Jeremy Clarkson's new car show on Amazon Prime.

It is claimed that Clark, who had worked with Evans since The Big Breakfast in the 1990s, had warned Evans that filming was in danger of falling behind schedule.

"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,” a source told The Sun.

"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."

Another point of conflict​ is understood to be Clark's hiring of former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc as co-host, against Evans' wishes.

The source said: "It was Lisa who suggested Matt, but Evans' reply was, 'He's old hat, what do we want him for?'."

The show has been hit by a string of departures, including script editor Tom Ford and BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw.

Chris Evans is one of the new presenters of the BBC's Top Gear programme, along with old favourite The Stig
Chris Evans is one of the new presenters of the BBC's Top Gear programme, along with old favourite The Stig

The BBC declined to comment on Lisa Clark's resignation, but a spokesman said: “We never confirm scheduling details this far out and we won’t be for Top Gear.

"We’ve always said we were working towards a May transmission for Top Gear and further detail on the transmission date and series structure will follow nearer the time.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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