Top Gear cause controversy over rugby club scenes

Top Gear cause controversy over rugby club scenes
Matt LeBlanc films car stunts on Tower Bridge in London for the new series of ‘Top Gear’, which led to many roads in the capital being closed.
Featuring: Matt LeBlanc
Credit: WENN.com

Top Gear hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc angered staff at a rugby club over the weekend when they apparently turned up to film without permission.

According to The Sun newspaper, Chris, Matt and co-presenter Sabine Schmitz arrived with a film crew at Folkestone Rugby Club in Kent, England, over the weekend (19-20Mar16) without the prior knowledge of the venue.

Former Friends star Matt, 48, was on a Honda motorbike, while Chris drove a red Jaguar and Sabine was in a dark blue Audi.

However, staff at the club were left baffled by their unexpected arrival.

Pat Morgan, who works at the rugby club, told The Sun: “They just suddenly appeared and filmed with a motorbike, which Matt LeBlanc was on, and an old red Jag and an Audi.

“I could see Chris Evans very clearly but LeBlanc was wearing a motorcycle helmet. They did not have permission to film here and it would have been nice if they had asked. So one of our executives went to speak to the crew.

“As they talked the producer finally apologised saying the crew had been given a piece of paper asking them to film here. They didn’t do any stunts, their vehicles were parked in the main car park.”

However, a spokesperson for the BBC told the publication that confusion about filming locations is standard when shooting a show like Top Gear.

In its previous incarnation, former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond frequently travelled the country on motoring challenges.

“The variable nature of location filming on Top Gear means that it is not uncommon for permissions to be sought on the day of the shoot itself,” the BBC spokesperson said. “On this occasion, the production team acquired the relevant permissions upon arrival at the location.”

This is not the first time the revamped Top Gear has caused controversy, even before it hits our television screens.

Earlier this month (Mar16), the team were criticised after Matt shot some motoring stunts metres away from the Cenotaph war memorial in London. Chris later apologised for what the pictures of the scenes appeared to show, and now the executive in charge of the stunt has been replaced.

Head of Factual Entertainment Clare Pizey has now taken over the role formerly held by Katie Taylor, who oversaw the Cenotaph scenes.

© Cover Media

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