New Top Gear Trouble as Chris Evans' Show Criticised for Cenotaph Stunt

By Gerald Lynch on at

The engine for the BBC's new series of Top Gear keeps stalling, as the Chris Evans-fronted show has come under fire yet again, this time for apparently disrespecting London's Cenotaph war memorial.

Former military top brass Col. Richard Kemp shared his disgust at the news the Top Gear team had been performing "donuts" near the sombre site. Likening the location to a cemetery, he stated during an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live that "does not need to have people screaming around in cars and generating smoke from their tyres all over it" before adding that "people like Matt LeBlanc and other stars of Top Gear could never give to this country, or their own country, what those who have died fighting for it have given and I think a degree of respect is due to them."

Related: Chris Evans' Top Gear is Doomed – Here's Why

However, the show's production team stresses that all required filming permits were agreed and acquired from Westminster Council, and that paparazzi shots of the stunts were captured in such a way as to look like the car tricks were being carried out far closer to the memorial than in reality.

Regardless, the episode has resulted in host Chris Evans delivering a full apology.

“On behalf of the Top Gear team and Matt [LeBlanc, co-host, former Friends star and fellow Cenotaph stunter, ed.], I would like to apologise unreservedly for what these images seem to portray," said Evans in a statement.

“There have been some very incendiary comments written alongside these pictures and I completely understand this furore but the Top Gear team would never ever do that.

“Retrospectively it was unwise to be anywhere near the Cenotaph with this motor car”

Still, if there's one silver lining, it's that the whole episode ended up annoying Chancellor George Osborne too, who's preparing to make sweeping cuts in Wednesday's new budget.


Image Credit: Cenotaph from Shutterstock (modified)