Chris Evans reprimanded by the BBC for plugging TFI Friday on his Radio 2 show

BBC rules that his "promotional" mentions of the Channel 4 programme were not editorially justified

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Chris Evans has been reprimanded by BBC bosses for repeatedly plugging his Channel 4 show TFI Friday on Radio 2.

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The ginger presenter was hauled in front of his superiors after a viewer complained about the repeated mentions of his commercial show on his Radio 2 breakfast programme last October.

He was given a verbal warning over “issues connected with commercial products” after the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit formally investigated.

The unit ruled: “As the producers of TFI Friday profit from the sale to Channel 4, it comes within the scope of the editorial guidelines dealing with references to commercial products, organizations and services. The references to TFI Friday were largely promotional in character, and more numerous than was editorially justifiable.”

Evans returned to TFI Friday last autumn to front 10 new episodes of the show he first hosted from 1996 to 2000. High -profile guests including U2, Justin Bieber and Quentin Tarantino.

RadioTimes.com understands that there was “anxiety” within the BBC about his involvement in the C4 show which he worked on until Christmas. According to some highly-placed sources this was felt to have delayed his ability to focus his energies on the new Top Gear.

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As RadioTimes.com revealed last month, production issues have meant that the first run of the show has been cut from 8 to 6 episodes. The premiere date is now expected to be May 22 not the May 8 date for the first episode announced by Evans.