TV watchdogs were last night studying footage of an incident in Whitechapel Road in East London which appears to show a vehicle being driven at speed through the street market by Top Gear presenter, Chris Evans, while co-presenter, Matt Le Blanc, fires an automatic weapon from the passenger window, spraying shoppers and stallholders with bullets, killing 12 and wounding 18 others.
Evans, already under fire for an earlier stunt in which a souped-up vehicle performed doughnuts alongside The Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall, was unrepentant last night: “Admittedly, the drive-by thing might be considered a little extreme by some, but we’re trying to produce a cutting edge and off-the-wall show which depicts motoring in all its guises. Naturally, we’re sorry that a few people were killed and injured, but sometimes that’s the price you have to pay when you’re making a popular tv show.”
Ex-Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson, last night slammed the stunt “While I’m all in favour of sailing close to the wind when making a motoring programme, this seems a bit extreme. The worst we ever did was rub the Argies noses in it over The Falklands War and push Richard Hammond’s wife in front of a speeding Range Rover to see how far down the road she ended up”
A spokesperson for the BBC said last night that they’d be running the clip in the new series but might consider editing out the footage of bloodied corpses and the anguished cries of the wounded and dying.