Chris Evans nearly walked from Top Gear over BBC meddling
Chris Evans said to be close to walking from the BBC's flagship motoring show
The comeback of Top Gear has been marred by further controversy as it is revealed that presenter Chris Evans was close to walking from the hit show.
Evans was said to be exhausted by the constant interference of producers as well being frustrated by a lack of free reign previously enjoyed by his predecessor Jeremy Clarkson.
The revelation marks another bump in the road of the pre-production of the BBC's flagship motoring show, which has included a string of major setbacks and high-profile resignations, months before its scheduled debut.
A source told the Sunday Mirror: 'Chris isn't a quitter but it was getting on top of him and he began wondering if it was worth the hassle.
'He was working his behind off and just didn't feel the love from certain BBC execs.
'They were constantly on the case, getting involved with production issues. All Chris wanted to do was make good TV.
The new Top Gear presenter Chris Evans.
'Things got so bad he made feelings very clear. It was more or less a 'butt out or I'm out' situation. Whether he would have carried out the threat is another issue but the message was obvious.'
A source close to the show said that it was the micromanagement of BBC 2 controller Kim Shillinglaw, who recently left the production, that had been leaving Evans feeling the strain.
n December an insider claimed to the Sun that Ms Shillinglaw had been reluctant to give Evans and his team the same freedom enjoyed by Clarkson.
The source said the BBC chief had a 'reputation as a meddler', adding 'the show has had to become a lot more PC following the Clarkson row.
'There is less leeway to do out-there stuff and Kim has become a bit of a nightmare.'
It is believed that Ms Shillinglaw and Evans were butting heads from the beginning with problems compounded once his trusted friend and colleague, producer Lisa Clark left the show.
Now, further pressure has been heaped onto the presenter after Simon Cowell announced that when it comes to driving, Evans just does not have the X-factor.
The former Top Gear trio of James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond.
Music mogul Cowell made the supposedly tongue in cheek comments while speaking at Britain's Got Talent auditions in London, reveals the Sun.
The car-loving talent show judge threw his own presenting hat into the ring by saying: 'Chris Evans wouldn't have been my choice, but good luck to them.
'I think you've got to have someone who can actually drive a car. I would've been amazing. I'd make my own show.'
Cowell's comments came after Evans, 49, was spotted getting out of his sports car to vomit while filming at the Mazda Raceway track in Monterey, California earlier this month.
Having climbed into the lighting-fast Audi R8 V10 as a passenger - with ex-professional racing driver Sabine Schmitz behind the wheel - Evans came over all queasy.
The DJ, who has a fleet of super fast cars at home, had been taking a spin with his co-star Schmitz when he was forced to halt filming as he barrelled out of the pair's car to throw up.
Simon Cowell, who believes he would be a better Top Gear presenter than Chris Evans.
While it could have been a rare moment of travel sickness the news is sure to leave Top Gear's fans raising an eyebrow.
Evans was brought into revamp the show but he will have his work cut out if he is to replace the incredibly popular former line up, of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, in the hearts of loyal viewers.
Clarkson's BBC contract was not renewed, after what was described as a 'fracas' with the show's producer, Oisin Tymon.
It was revealed that the row, which happened in a Yorkshire hotel, took place because no hot food was provided following a day's filming.
His dismissal prompted a mass walkout as Hammond, May and Andy Wilman, the executive producer and old school friend of Clarkson, all resigned.
Since the incident, Clarkson, May and Hammond have gone on to sign a deal for a new Amazon Prime motor show with a reported budget of £160 million.