Top Gear presenter Chris Harris has denied claims by fans that he is being bullied by co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff.
The 44-year-old motoring journalist described his fellow hosts as “two of the kindest people I’ve worked with” and said he has never felt bullied by them.
Viewers shared their frustrations on social media following Sunday’s episode of the BBC car show, which featured numerous segments in which Flintoff and McGuinness appeared to pick on Harris.
Need to tell you all that Fred and Paddy are two of the kindest people I’ve worked with. We’re good pals and I’ve never felt remotely picked-on. I’m small - so what? We all give as good as we get. And who gets to slide the supercars? Me! It’s just telly, and I’m loving it!
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) July 1, 2019
At one point, former cricketer Flintoff lifted Harris into the coffin space of a hearse and he later smashed half a watermelon on his co-host’s head.
In response to the claims, a Top Gear producer said the show does not “condone bullying in any shape or form” and added the presenters are “great friends who enjoy teasing each other relentlessly”.
— All In The Name Of Emmerdale (@Ishipvanity) June 30, 2019
Why does #TopGear inevitably return to bullying Chris Harris?
— (((Neil))) 👁🗨 (@dungeekin) June 30, 2019
Anyone else feel like they bully Chris Harris a bit much? Kind of uncomfortable #TopGear
— Cat (@catmiles) June 30, 2019
Harris shared his side of the story on Twitter and defended both Flintoff and McGuinness.
“We’re good pals and I’ve never felt remotely picked-on,” he wrote.
He added: “I’m small - so what? We all give as good as we get.
“And who gets to slide the supercars? Me! It’s just telly, and I’m loving it”
Harris also appeared with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain this morning to discuss the return of Top Gear and said Flintoff and McGuinness were “national treasures and brilliant entertainers”.
Addressing the relationship between himself and Flintoff, Harris said he loves “a bit of rough and tumble”.
He added: “If you mess around with your mates, you get into rough and tumble, then you remember you're in your mid-40s and you can’t land the way you used to, so it's great fun."
Read more: Flintoff admits to Top Gear crashes
Harris joined Top Gear in 2016 as a recurring guest and became a full-time host alongside Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid for the March 2017 series.
The current run of the show has been praised for its new attitude and chemistry between the hosts.
Top Gear airs on BBC Two on Sunday evenings.