Top Gear Cenotaph stunt criticised


By BBC

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A former British military commander has called for a Top Gear stunt filmed near a war memorial not to be broadcast.

Show host Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver performed “donuts” near to the Cenotaph in central London.

Col Richard Kemp told BBC Radio 5 live’s Stephen Nolan that the war memorial should be shown “respect”.

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A Top Gear spokesman said images taken by paparazzi made it look like filming had taken place closer than it had in reality.

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Col Kemp likened the Cenotaph to a “cemetery” and said he did not want to see any clips featuring the memorial in the final edit.

He added it “does not need to have people screaming around in cars and generating smoke from their tyres all over it”.

A BBC spokesman said the filming was “agreed with Westminster Council in advance”.

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But Col Kemp said: “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.”

Earlier on Sunday, Chancellor George Osborne gave the Top Gear team a ticking off for making too much noise near Downing Street while he was writing the Budget.

The chancellor tweeted that a “noisy episode” was taking place near Horse Guards Parade on Sunday.

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Mr Osborne, who will deliver his eighth Budget on Wednesday, tweeted: “Trying to write my Budget, despite noisy episode of @BBC_TopGear being filmed outside on Horseguards Parade. Keep it down please @achrisevans.”

LeBlanc and rally driver Ken Block also gatecrashed a wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday.

The new series of the BBC Two show is due to start in May.

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