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ZIP IT! Evans' Rainbow jibe at ex-Top Gear trio.

Byline: TOM BRYANT Head of Showbiz

UNDER-FIRE Chris Evans hit out at his critics at the same time as mocking the former hosts of Top Gear - calling them "Zippy, George and Bungle".

The presenter, 50, faced claims he bullied co-workers and allegedly reduced a female producer on his Radio 2 show to tears.

Now Evans has retaliated in a magazine column, writing: "I think we can all agree that some people in my business would currently prefer me/my career/preferably both to be shot on sight."

He added: "So what might I do if it all goes pear-shaped in the next few weeks? "After licking my wounds, I could attempt to seek similar employment, like Zippy, Bungle and George did after their infamous exit from Top Gear last year."

Evans was likening Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond to the characters from the popular 1970s and 80s children's ITV programme Rainbow.

He will take over the BBC motoring show this month after Clarkson was axed for punching producer Oisin Tymon.

On the bullying claims, Evans called his accusers, "untalented weaselswhose only role in life is dealing in slander". He added: "I have no idea what it is that's driving these rabid malcontents to stoop so low."

tom.bryant@mirror.co.uk

I have no idea what it is that's driving these rabid malcontents to stoop so low CHRIS EVANS on those who have accused him of bullying

CAPTION(S):

FIGHTING TALK Chris Evans

RAINBLOW Hammond, Clarkson and May as kids' show characters

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 16, 2016
Words:254
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