Richard Hammond Makes A Not-So-Subtle Cenotaph Dig at Top Gear in Grand Tour Episode 6

By James O Malley on at

The war between The Grand Tour and the team's erstwhile colleagues at the BBC got a little bit spicier today as the she show made its most audacious dig at Top Gear yet.

In the first film of Episode 6, in which Richard Hammond welcomes the Ford Mustang to the UK for the first time, he takes the car on a brief tour around the capital. After driving past Parliament, he turns on to Whitehall and passes the Cenotaph.

"That is the Cenotaph, where we remember those who died fighting for us", he says, adding "slow down a bit here, show some respect".

Ouch!

For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a controversy that plagued the BBC in the production of the first post-Clarkson series. Before it even aired, the show was hugely criticised as Matt LeBlanc was spotted doing donuts by the monument. Then Chancellor George Osborne even tweeted about it at the time:

Because of the blowback though, and despite costing around £100,000 to close off the road for the stunt, the BBC ended up scrapping the footage all together.

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, in the BBC film that came first, they were also driving a Mustang.

Interestingly too, the car The Grand Tour chose to put up against the Mustang was the Ford Focus RS, which was also reviewed on the new Chris Evans-led incarnation of Top Gear. Though not compared directly, Rory Reid did put the car through its paces:

(Unlike the Rolls Royce, this wasn't the exact same car Reid used - though it was the same colour.)

Here's hoping that in the next series of Top Gear, Matt LeBlanc punches a producer in response.