Is Chris Evans’ Top Gear cursed? There’s yet more controversy in the filming of the new show
There has been yet more controversy in the filming of the new Top Gear sans Jeremy Clarkson, after the Top Gear crew reportedly arrived at a rugby club for without permission to film.
According to witnesses, new Top Gear presenters Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and Sabine Schmitz plus members of the show’s production crew all arrived to film at Folkestone Rugby Club in Kent this weekend, without any prior agreement to film there.
Folkestone Rugby Club staff member Pat Morgan told the press: “They just suddenly appeared and filmed with a motorbike, which Matt LeBlanc was on, and an old red Jag and an Audi. They did not have permission to film here and it would have been nice if they had asked.”
The BBC have dismissed reports of wrongdoing, however, saying: “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. On this occasion, the production team acquired the relevant permissions upon arrival at the location.”
It’s far from the first time that the renovated version of Top Gear has hit the press for all the wrong reasons. Just last week, the show was blasted for filming drag-racing scenes dangerously close to the Cenotaph war memorial in London, leading a “horrified” Chris Evans to promise the public these scenes would never be broadcast on television.
Late last year, it was reported that new host Chris Evans struggled with the quite crucial job of simultaneously driving and talking to the camera (the BBC denied this). Later leaked images suggested Evans suffered from car sickness, after he was spotted retching at the side of a track during filming.
The show also seems to be unable to hold down members of production, having already lost Chris Evan’s personally selected executive producer, Lisa Clark, in December amid reports that Evans was a control freak (the BBC denied this too). Script editor Tom Ford left shortly after. In January, BBC Two controller Kim Shillinglaw also stepped down from her role, which included ensuring the new show was up to scratch.
It all begs the question – is the new Top Gear cursed?