Chris Evans apologises “unreservedly” for Top Gear stunt on Radio 2 show

The Top Gear host admitted that Matt LeBlanc's wheel-spinning near the Cenotaph war memorial looked "disrespectful"

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Chris Evans has apologised “unreservedly” after Matt LeBlanc filmed Top Gear scenes near the Cenotaph in central London.

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LeBlanc was seen driving around Westminster doing a stunt for the new series of the BBC2 show — a sight which former British military commander Colonel Richard Kemp told the Telegraph was “in bad taste.”

“This is a sacred tribute to millions of people who have done far more for their country than Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc ever will,” he said.  “Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint but I don’t believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste.”

Speaking on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, Evans said: “I would like to apologise unreservedly.”

He added that he hadn’t seen the images until they were published, but that he could see how “disrespectful” they seemed.

“I hadn’t seen them until this morning as I was away with my family for the weekend,” he said. “This isn’t a shoot I’m particularly involved with but I do obviously know something about it.

“It doesn’t matter what actually happened, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are that could explain this away.

“What is important about this is what these images look like but they look entirely disrespectful which of course is not and would not ever be the intention of the Top Gear team or Matt.”

While he admitted that the stunt looked in poor taste, he also said that the scenes were not actually shot as close to the Cenotaph as they appeared, but were taken with a “long lens camera” which magnifies the image and makes things look closer than they are.

Top Gear cameraman Iain May added on Twitter that people “shouldn’t believe everything you read.”

“These pictures were taken with a long lens camera but the point is that this does not look good at all,” Evans said.

“So on behalf of the Top Gear team and Matt, I would like to apologise unreservedly for what these images seem to portray.”

Chancellor George Osborne joked on Sunday morning that the filming was disturbing him while he was working on the Budget, asking Evans to “keep it down”.

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The new series of Top Gear is scheduled to air from 22nd May.