Thursday 29 September 2016

BBC Trust puts brakes on further Top Gear Cenotaph stunt probe

Published 14/07/2016 | 13:21

Chris Evans said Top Gear footage filmed near the Cenotaph was 'disrespectful' and should never have been broadcast
Chris Evans said Top Gear footage filmed near the Cenotaph was 'disrespectful' and should never have been broadcast

Top Gear will face no further investigation into its controversial stunt at the Cenotaph in central London.

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The BBC Trust has ruled out any further probe into the scenes for the motoring show which left large tyre circles on the streets surrounding the war memorial.

Viewers had complained to the trust that the BBC had attempted to dismiss concerns with a "cut and paste apology".

Host Chris Evans, who has since stepped down from the job, apologised "unreservedly" after his co-host Matt LeBlanc and rally driver Ken Block were seen doing "doughnuts" near the memorial in London's Whitehall.

Evans said the footage was "disrespectful" and should never have been broadcast.

The BBC apologised at the time and said the Cenotaph was never intended to feature in the programme.

A statement said: "The Cenotaph was at no point intended to feature in the programme and therefore will not appear in the final film. However, we are acutely aware of how some of the images in the press look via the angle and distance they were taken and for which, as Chris Evans has already said, we sincerely apologise."

It continued: "We would like to make it absolutely clear that the Top Gear team has the utmost respect for the Cenotaph, what it stands for, and those heroic individuals whose memory it serves so fittingly."

The BBC apologised further when two people remained dissatisfied with the BBC's "further reassurances that we will be mindful of our filming locations henceforth".

They appealed to the trust to say that the BBC's initial response had been insufficient and the apologies were not accepted.

The complainants also said the "cut and paste" responses were "insulting and amateurish" and indicated the BBC was attempting to "shrug off" the mistakes.

However, the trust said it would not take the appeal further on the basis that it had "no reasonable prospect of succeeding".

The trust said the main issues of the complaints did not relate to broadcast output, but to events during the preparation of a forthcoming series, which rested with the BBC rather than the regulator.

Press Association

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