"Chris Evans has been accused of racism after telling a black scientist he could not see her in a dim BBC studio. The presenter told Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a highly respected space expert and government adviser: ‘I can barely see you, to be honest.’
The remark came after he mistakenly said she was Caribbean when she is of Nigerian descent.
The Corporation received 56 complaints from viewers who interpreted his comments as a racist joke. One angrily condemned the words as ‘proper foot-in-mouth’.
Evans’s comment was made early in The One Show last Friday during a discussion about a week of ‘space spectating’ which had included a lunar eclipse.
Dr Aderin-Pocock, sitting next to singer Tom Jones on the studio sofa, was asked if there were more to come.
She replied: ‘There’s plenty out there to see, unfortunately not tonight.’
Mr Evans then said: ‘It’s terrible tonight, I can barely see you, to be honest.’