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Chris Evans apologises ‘unreservedly’ for Top Gear stunt

Host addressed controversy over Cenotaph scenes on Radio 2 Breakfast Show

CHRIS Evans has apologised "unreservedly" for disrespectful Top Gear scenes filmed outside the Cenotaph yesterday.

The BBC show was accused of insulting our war dead after The Sun obtained pictures of Chris's co-host Matt LeBlanc skidding through Westminster and throwing smoke into the air while driving a Ford Mustang.

 Chris apologised for the Cenotaph stunt
Chris apologised for the Cenotaph stunt

Although he claimed he wasn't directly involved with the scenes, Chris made an grovelling apology on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning.

He said: "I hadn't seen them [pictures] until this morning because I was away with my family over the weekend.

We were making a Top Gear film, and we are still making the Top Gear film to do with a car with a brilliant stunt driver called Ken Blocker.

"Matt LeBlanc is making the film with Ken and we closed some roads down in London on Saturday and Sunday, I believe we're doing the same now and I think we might be doing the same tomorrow.

"This isn't a shoot I'm particularly involved in but I do obviously know something about it.

"It doesn't matter what actually happened, it doesn't matter what the circumstances were that could explain this away.

 Matt LeBlanc did donuts
Matt LeBlanc did donuts

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

"These pictures were taken with a long lens camera from I believe Parliament Square but the point is that this does not look good at all, whatsoever.

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

"I completely understand all this furore, but the Top Gear team would never ever do that.

"Retrospectively it was unwise to be anywhere even near the Cenotaph with this motor car. Once again we would like to unreservedly apologise."

 The team didn't mean to upset anyone
The team didn't mean to upset anyone

Chris's apology puts him at odds, once again, with Top Gear bosses, who tried to defend the stunt yesterday, saying: "The activity actually took place around 40 metres away from the Cenotaph. All agreed in advance."

Col Richard Kemp, former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, said of the scenes: “It’s worse than doing a stunt in a cemetery and screaming round people’s graves.

“It’s a shocking desecration of one of our most sacred sites. The BBC should apologise and cut that part of the show.”

A large number of ex-servicemen were equally outraged, he said. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “It is extremely distasteful and disrespectful.”

The Chancellor, who was preparing for Wednesday’s Budget, also blasted the crew as it filmed on nearby Horse Guards Parade.

He tweeted: “Trying to write my Budget, despite noisy episode of BBC_TopGear being filmed outside. Keep it down please.”

Matt also gatecrashed a wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral in the Mustang on Saturday and forced Tower Bridge to close for the scenes.