The BBC is to stand by Chris Evans, despite claims that he is to be questioned by police over historic sex assault allegations, with the presenter continuing to host his Radio 2 breakfast show this week.
The Sun on Sunday claimed that the Top Gear presenter will be quizzed by Metropolitan Police detectives “in the coming days” over claims that he had repeatedly exposed himself to a former work colleague, and grabbed her breats.
Evans denies the claims, and said in May, when the allegations first surfaced, that they amounted to a “witch hunt”. He added: “All these bullying claims and other allegations are just ridiculous.”
Top Gear and British radio host Chris Evans. Picture/BBC
It is understood that neither the BBC nor Evans have been contacted by detectives in relation to the claims, which are thought to date back to the 1990s.
The presenter is said to be focusing on preparing for filming for the second series of his newly-revamped Top Gear, which begins production in September.
While the series, which ends on Sunday night, has garnered mixed reviews, and poor viewing figures, it suffered from going up against Euro 2016 football matches, which ate into its young, male audience.
Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc on Top Gear. Picture/BBC
Sources close to the programme said that Matt LeBlanc, the American actor, was close to signing up for a second series of the show, despite reports of a fractious relationship with Evans.
“Matt will sign,” said one Top Gear source. “He loves the show.”
A BBC spokesman said: “Chris Evans will host tomorrow’s Radio 2 breakfast show as usual”.
Evans’s representatives, and the Metropolitan Police, refused to comment.