New ‘Top Gear’ host Chris Evans has vigorously denied recent allegations that he bullied former colleagues earlier in his career, rubbishing claims that his behaviour on-set has been “out of control” in the past.

The 50 year old presenter, who is heading up an eyebrow-raising team of six hosts on the overhauled ‘Top Gear’ when it returns on May 29th, described the accusations that he used to orchestrate bullying on-set when he was host of ‘The Big Breakfast’ in the 1990s as “ridiculous” and “a witch-hunt”.

Chris Evans Matt Le BlancChris Evans with new 'Top Gear' colleague Matt LeBlanc in 2016

A woman speaking anonymously to gossip website Heat Street on Saturday (May 7th) alleged that Evans used to regularly demean her for two years when she worked on the programme. “He often said I was crap at my job and would sometimes grab my breasts. I became totally desensitised to his behaviour… …it was pretty much every single day. It was relentless.”

However, Evans strongly denied these accusations on Sunday. “I have had wild times in the past, but I am a different man now. I am older and wiser. I have never been a bully.”

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This was in addition to recent claims from his former sidekick, John Revell, who said that Evans used to throw his weight around on-set but that bosses were “scared to stand up to him”, and from a number of other former colleagues from his time on the Channel 4 morning show nearly two decades ago.

Evans also detailed the effects that the rumours were having on his wife Natasha and their two young sons, seven year old Noah and four year old Eli.

“All these bullying claims and other allegations are just ridiculous. But of course if you sling enough mud, some will stick to the wall,” he said to the Daily Mirror. “Is it hurtful to see your wife - or your children - upset? Of course it is. Who likes seeing their wife and 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.”

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