Chris Evans Is Raising Hell On Top Gear
4 March 2016 - Autoblog
If you've read Richard Porter's excellent book And On That Bombshell... you'll know that in its glory days, Top Gear was successful because of Andy Wilman's vision, Jeremy Clarkson's perfectionism and tireless work ethic, and the chemistry between the three hosts.
But since The Fracas Heard Round The World, things have gone very, very sideways at the world's largest motoring show.
The latest drama is behind the scenes, and focuses on lead host Chris Evans and executive producer Lisa Clark, who left the show after just five months in December. According to unnamed sources that spoke to The Daily Sun – grains of salt applied – Clark's departure was because Evans is a "control freak who thinks he can trample over everyone."
According to the sources, Evans had reportedly completed filming with Formula 1 driver Jenson Button when Clark warned the host the show was in danger of falling behind. The source claims Evans "shot her a look for undermining him and she was soon gone." The two also clashed on the hiring of former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc as one of the show's hosts. The move was apparently orchestrated by Clark but derided by Evans, who called the American "old hat."
Since December, Top Gear has lost two major behind-the-scenes people. Besides Clark, script editor Tom Ford was also released, according to The Sun. And on the corporate level, Controller Kim Shillinglaw, the woman tasked with relaunching the show, left in January.
In response to The Sun's report, the BBC has claimed it's still aiming for a May release for the show's new iteration.