Evans censured over TFI ‘promotion’

Chris Evans
Image caption Chris Evans fronted a special 10-part return of his 90s Channel 4 entertainment show in October last year

The BBC's editorial complaints unit (ECU) has upheld a complaint over comments made by broadcaster Chris Evans on his Radio 2 breakfast show.

A listener complained Evans' references to the first of his then-upcoming series of TFI Friday on Channel 4 had been inappropriately promotional.

Evans talked several time about the return of his 90s entertainment show in his 12 October radio programme.

The ECU said the frequency of comments was considered "largely promotional".

"As the producers of TFI Friday profit from its sale to Channel 4, it comes within the scope of the editorial guidelines dealing with references to commercial products, organisations and services," the BBC's ECU said of the audience member's complaint.

"Contrary to those guidelines, the references to TFI Friday were largely promotional in character, and more numerous than was editorially justifiable."

At a meeting following the finding, the management of BBC Radio said it had "spoken to Evans about the issues connected with commercial products and the editorial justifications for mentioning them".

Evans, who hosted the popular Channel 4 evening show TFI Friday from 1996 to 2000, returned to front a special 10-part series in October last year.

Celebrity guests

The revival of the anarchic entertainment programme was prompted by the success of an earlier one-off episode in June.

The new series, which began on 16 October, was co-produced by Evans's own production company Zimple TFI Friday.

In his 12 October Radio 2 show, which Evans has hosted since 2010, the presenter told listeners about what TFI would be featuring, including the names of celebrity guests.

Once the TFI revival ended, Evans said he would not be resurrecting the show again.

Evans will be back on BBC Two in May as the chief host of the reinvented Top Gear.