Top Gear host Chris Evans apologises 'unreservedly' for Matt Le Blanc Cenotaph stunt

Top Gear host Chris Evans has issued an apology after a stunt for the show was filmed near the Cenotaph over the weekend.

On Sunday (13 March) co-presenter Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver Ken Block performed wheel spins, or 'donuts' next to the London war memorial courting criticism from retired Colonel Richard Kemp.

Describing the move as "gravely disrespectful", Kemp told the Telegraph it was "beggars belief that they were ever allowed to film" near the monument.

Reading out several front page splashes slamming the choice of location, Evans, who was not directly involved in the filming that day, used his BBC Radio 2 breakfast slot to say sorry.

Apologising "unreservedly for what these images seem to portray" Evans said: "The images on the front pages of the papers today - it doesn't matter what actually happened - what is important is what these images look like."

"It does not look good at all," he continued, "there have been some completely incendiary comments written alongside these pictures and I completely understand all this furore, but the Top Gear team would never, ever, do that."

"Retrospectively it was unwise to be anywhere near the Cenotaph with this motorcar," he added.

He said he recognised that the images looked "entirely disrespectful, which of course was not and would never be the intention of the Top Gear team, or Matt [LeBlanc]."

The BBC initially defended the antics, with a Top Gear spokesman telling the Independent that the filming took place a "respectful distance" away from the Cenotaph and that the shoot had been agreed with Westminster Council in advance. He said all scenes were shot around 40 metres away from the memorial.

Ahead of Evans' apology, former military commander Kemp called on the BBC to ditch the footage.

"This is a sacred tribute to millions of people who have done far more for their country than Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc ever will. The BBC certainly should not have done this in the first place and I would urge them to make sure this does not appear in the final programme," he said.

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