New Top Gear production problems "an elaborate hoax"
James May has accused new Top Gear host Chris Evans of faking production problems.
The former BBC show co-presenter has raised eyebrows by suggesting that his successor is faking the show's recent production woes in order to lower viewer expectations.
The 53 year-old made the comments during an interview for ITV's This Morning on Tuesday.
The co-host - who fronted the programme alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond until last year - is convinced the recent issues dealt to the motoring show is just an elaborate hoax to lower the expectations of the viewers.
Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as part of the live broadcast, he said: 'That's my theory. To be brutally honest that's what I'd do. I would make out it was all going terribly.'
Chris, who recently signed a three-year deal to front the programme, sparked concern among fans earlier this month when he was spotted being sick following a drive in a plush Audi R8 V10 with co-star Sabine Schmitz.
James added: 'The picture of Chris supposedly being sick while he was driving a car. Was he being sick? I look a lot more contorted when I'm sick.'
MailOnline have contacted the BBC in response to the claims, but are yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, despite claiming Top Gear is faking the problems, James is keen for Chris to do well. He said recently: 'I'd like to see Chris' version do well. It's a ballsy call to continue it.
'I wouldn't want to be the one presenting it when we'd just finished, but there must be a way of reinventing it. We always said it would survive beyond us.'
However, Evans' alleged sickness isn't the only hurdle faced by the show.
Evans, who also presents the breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, is also struggling with the amount of control he is being given over the show, sources claim.
The former Top Gear trio of Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
An insider claimed to the Sun that BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw has been reluctant to give Evans and his team the same free reign enjoyed by Clarkson, who failed to have his BBC contract renewed following a high-profile fracas with a show producer.
Chris was named as the show's new presenter last year, following the departure of controversial frontman Jeremy Clarkson.
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.
The trio are now set to launch their new Amazon Prime motoring show, and will go head-to-head with Chris, 49, as he reboots Top Gear.