New Top Gear presenter Chris Evans has revealed today that his family have been devastated by claims that he has bullied TV colleagues. Evans says he is becoming increasingly worried about the effect the “witch hunt” is having on wife Natasha and his two young sons, Noah, seven, and four-year-old Eli. Hitting back against the accusations by an old friend and former Big Breakfast colleagues, he told one of his closest friends: “All these bullying claims and other allegations are just ridiculous.
“I’m not a bully. But of course if you sling enough mud, some will stick to the wall,” Evans said. “Is it hurtful to see your wife – or your children – upset? Of course it is. Who likes seeing their wife or kids in tears? We live in a small place. We lead a normal life. We see the same people every day on the school run. At the school gates. Parents and kids pop around to our house. My kids go to their homes. Since this witch hunt started we can sense some parents at the school gates feel awkward about what is happening – wondering if these things are true. It is not fair on my family that they should be confronted with this rubbish day after day. When it affects their lives it has gone too far.”
Evans has been accused of bullying staff while working on Channel 4 ’s The Big Breakfast in the 1990s. One attack which particularly upset him came from his friend of 30 years John Revell, who is better known as his Radio 1 and Virgin sidekick ‘Johnny Boy’. He claimed Evans was “out of control” but his BBC bosses are too “scared to stand up to him”. Revell said: “I had hoped he’d got to an age where he would have stopped bullying and shouting and screaming at people, but by all accounts he hasn’t.” Evans has dismissed the accusations as “pernicious and false”.
Close friends say that Evans’ eldest son Noah had been hurt by playground comments about his dad, while wife Natasha also feels “embarrassed” and fears being shunned by fellow parents on the school run in Ascot, Berks. Friends also believe Jeremy Clarkson has made the situation worse by negative comments, claiming Evans “is having a very hard time at the moment”.