It’s a new era for the hit BBC car show “Top Gear” — including the arrival of “Friends” alum Matt LeBlanc as one of the show’s hosts. But the show’s reputation for courting controversy appears to remain intact, and LeBlanc appears to be fitting right in.
In the latest incident, “Top Gear” host Chris Evans apologized Monday for a stunt involving LeBlanc that outraged observers and received plenty of coverage in British newspapers. The stunt, which took place near the Cenotaph war memorial in central London, was criticized for showing a lack of respect.
Reuters reports that published photos “showed the show’s co-host, U.S. actor Matt LeBlanc, speeding and spinning a car with a professional driver along a deserted Whitehall, the road near Parliament which is home to government offices as well as the Cenotaph. As the car performed 360-degree turns, clouds of smoke from burning tire rubber dramatically obscured the 96-year-old memorial in one long-range TV camera shot.”
On his BBC Radio program, Evans told listeners: “It does not look good at all. On behalf of the ‘Top Gear’ team and Matt, I would like to apologize unreservedly for what these images seem to portray.”
The BBC later issued a statement announcing that it would not included the Cenotaph footage in the episode.