Chris Evans loses his Top Gear executive producer Lisa Clark after just five months

The executive on the new-look motoring show takes the surprising decision to quit in the middle of production to pursue "new projects"

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Top Gear executive producer Lisa Clark is leaving the rebooted motoring show after just five months in the role.

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Clark, who was appointed in July as a replacement for former executive Andy Wilman, will leave her role to pursue “new projects”. The new look Top Gear will begin broadcasting on BBC2 in May and production has already started.

Confirming the news, the BBC insisted that the decision was a “mutual” one and that there was no discord between her and Evans.

“They go back years, it’s nothing like that,” added a Corporation source. 

The BBC issued a statement which said: “Lisa Clark is stepping down from her current role on Top Gear. A new executive producer will be announced in due course.

“We’d like to thank Lisa for all her incredible work over the last five months readying new Top Gear for its busy filming schedule in 2016 and planned return in May.”

Clark (pictured, below) said: “After an extremely busy five months I am moving on from Top Gear to new projects which I will be announcing in the New Year. I’d like to wish production all the very best with the show.”

The BBC confirmed that Clark had overseen early filming with Evans at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey. She took over from Wilman in the wake of the “fracas” which saw Jeremy Clarkson removed from the show and the voluntary departures of his fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

She has been producing entertainment and comedy programmes for more than 25 years, with a list of credits that includes Vic and Bob panel comedy Shooting Stars and the duo’s recent BBC2 sitcom House of Fools.

Clark was head of comedy at LWT and then a senior commissioning executive at the BBC. In 2001 she set up the independent production company Pett Television with Reeves & Mortimer and together they devised and produced a range of entertainment formats and scripted comedies across all channels and platforms, from BBC1’s Celebrity Dog School to BBC3’s Tittybangbang.

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Evans said of her appointment: “Lisa is as good as it gets when it comes to making big, important television shows. She’s funny, sassy, super experienced and has always absolutely LOVED cars.”