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 The Ministry of Defence have said they would have banned the BBC show from shooting scenes on a military base had they known about the stunt
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The Ministry of Defence have said they would have banned the BBC show from shooting scenes on a military base had they known about the stunt

DEFENCE officials would have banned Top Gear filming at an Army barracks if they had known the crew planned to pull stunts at the Cenotaph, a senior source said today.

Telly host Matt LeBlanc and stunt driver Ken Block were snapped at Woolwich Barracks on Monday as a Ford Mustang was loaded on to the back of an RAF Chinook chopper.

It came on the same day the nation was reeling from images of the same car careering around the Cenotaph and Women of World War Two memorial on Whitehall.

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Last night an senior defence insider revealed: "The Ministry of Defence had no idea what they planned and would have told them where to go if we had.

"Top Gear has rightly apologised for their stupid stunts."

The news comes as host Chris Evans said that the "disrepectful" footage should never be aired after he claimed that he and the team were "mortified" by the reaction to the event exposed by The Sun.

Meanwhile an official spokesman said the RAF Chinook did not fly the mustang around London but instead filmed it being loaded on.

 New host Chris Evans speaking to the press after the incident
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New host Chris Evans speaking to the press after the incident

It was later removed and the same shot duplicated in London to make it look like the Chopper had flown the car into central London.

And they said the BBC had paid to use the military asset and film at the barracks.

But the fact the crew and hosts filmed at a military barracks - and used an RAF chopper - the day after pulling donuts by the nation's most sacred memorial to war dead sparked more concern.

The Ministry of Defence had no idea what they planned and would have told them where to go if we had

Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp, said: "There is a lot of concern in the country about what happened in front of the Cenotaph.

"It seems somewhat insensitive for the RAF and Army to help them the very next day.

"It raises serious questions.

"I assume it was agreed months ago, but considering what had happened it strikes me as a very odd thing to do."

 Host Matt LeBlanc with stunt driver Ken Block
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Host Matt LeBlanc with stunt driver Ken Block

An MoD spokesperson said: “The vehicle was not transported by any RAF Chinook, there was no operational impact, and there was no cost to the MoD.”

A Queen lookalike was also spotted at Woolwich Barracks in south east London.