It’s like he’s always stuck in second gear.
If the producers of British motoring institution Top Gear thought things would get easier for them once Jeremy Clarkson left the show, they were very, very wrong.
The revamped show hasn’t even aired its first episode yet, but new hosts Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans (the British broadcaster, not the American movie star) have already been generating headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Evans has been criticised for everything from his supposed inability to drive and speak at the same time to his “dictatorial behaviour“, while early reports surfaced that Evans and LeBlanc were having trouble establishing chemistry.
Now LeBlanc is in hot water for doing burnouts in front of The Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall, London, while filming a stunt for the show.
The Cenotaph is a war memorial that was originally built to commemorate the dead after World War I, but has been used as the United Kingdom’s primary national war memorial for all conflicts since.
It will now also be remembered as the site where Friends star Matt LeBlanc did a sick burnout.
Former British military commander Colonel Richard Kemp told The Telegraph The Cenotaph “is a sacred tribute to millions of people who have done far more for their country than Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc ever will.”
Kemp said the burnout was a low act, even by the standards of the show’s previous hosts.
“Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint, but I don’t believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste,” he said.
A Top Gear spokesman has said the stunt was approved by Westminster Council in advance, and LeBlanc’s car was at least 44 yards away from the monument at all times.
Regardless, the BBC has apologised for the stunt, and said any footage shot in front of The Cenotaph will not be shown when the episode goes to air.
The new Top Gear will begin airing on BBC Knowledge in May.