Chris Evans quits Top Gear

Presenter quits just one year into the job, on the day that UK police announce they are investigating him over allegations of sexual assault

Chris Evans
Chris Evans

Chris Evans has announced that he has decided to leave the BBC’s Top Gear after only one series at the helm.

Following mixed reviews of his first series in charge following Jeremy Clarkson's departure, he revealed on Twitter that it was time to quit.

Today, UK police have confirmed that they were investigating allegations of sexual assault against Chris Evans, who was accused of grabbing the breasts of a female colleague in the 1990s.

In a statement released this morning, the Met confirmed that a woman had made an allegation of “non-recent sexual assault” to officers on May 23, six days before Evans’s newly-revamped Top Gear returned to the BBC.

Police said the allegation related to “incidents in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s”. 

Evans hosted Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast between 1992 and 1994, with the programme airing live from a cottage in Bow, located within the east London borough.

In a statement, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “An allegation of non-recent sexual assault was made to police on May 23.

“The allegation was made by a woman against a man, and relates to incidents in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s.

“There have been no arrests and no person has been interviewed under caution.”

Officers would not give any further guidance on the timescale of the investigation, or whether Evans was likely to be questioned in the near future.

Evans has previously denied the claims, saying that they amounted to a “witch hunt”. He added: “All these bullying claims and other allegations are just ridiculous.”​

After reports in a Sunday newspaper that Evans faced police questioning “in the coming days”, sources close to the star insisted that he had not had any contact from detectives.

The development leaves BBC with a conundrum over how to deal with allegations against one of their most high-profile presenters.

A spokesman for the corporation said that the presenter would continue to host his Radio 2 show.