Matt LeBlanc’s Cenotaph stunt with Ken Block appears to have soured his relationship with Chris Evans

The personalities might be different now, but Top Gear still wouldn’t be Top Gear without any kind of controversy. The new crop of hosts, led by radio personality Chris Evans and American actor Matt LeBlanc, are reportedly at each other’s throats already and the show hasn’t even come back on air yet. According to British tabloid The Sun, Evans and LeBlanc are at the center of the controversy as their relationship has supposedly gone sour in the wake of the Cenotaph controversy LeBlanc found himself in last month.

Now there are rumblings that Evans didn’t want LeBlanc to be part of the show in the first place, a decision he begrudgingly accepted because the BBC thought the former Friends star would help draw in American viewers. But after the Cenotaph incident, Evans reportedly reached a boiling point and their relationship, which was never close to begin with, has gone further into disrepair.

LeBlanc has since tweeted out a response to the report, denying in typical LeBlanc fashion that he was “at war” with his co-host. It remains to be seen if Joey is telling the God-honest truth with those comments, but whatever the case may be, this isn’t the kind of start the BBC and the new powers-that-be at Top Gear expected when it decided to reboot the show.

On the other hand, “Top Gear” and “controversy” have hardly become mutually exclusive to one another, so while some things may have changed with the show, it still hasn’t lost its touch for being an all-encompassing lightning road for chaos and disturbance.

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Why it matters

I knew something like this would happen; I just didn’t think it would happen this soon. I mean, the show hasn’t even returned the air and we’re already reading about hosts not getting along? To be fair, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May had their moments with one another, but their chemistry on screen was palpable. They played off of each other incredibly and those relationships were a big part of what made the previous incarnation of Top Gear so enjoyable to watch.

If Evans and LeBlanc really don’t get along, it’s going to be a huge detriment to the new show, especially if that lack of chemistry shows up on TV. Remember, fans of Top Gear are smart and they have high standards for the show. They’re going to sniff out the frosty relationship between Evans and LeBlanc faster than Clarkson can say “on that bombshell.” Worse, since the new show hasn’t gone on air yet, viewers will immediately have their sensors on full blast when the show debuts. It’s an awful predicament to be in, especially for Evans, LeBlanc, and the producers.

I don’t know how much the Cenotaph incident played into the reportedly souring relationship between the two, but reports did say that Evans wasn’t thrilled with how the footage was captured. For those who don’t know, the Cenotaph is a British war monument that could be seen in the background as LeBlanc coaxed driver Ken Block to perform some doughnuts. The video immediately caused backlash from people who thought the stunt was insensitive to the Cenotaph’s identity as a national memorial.

It was unprofessional to the highest degree and Evans and the BBC were right to immediately apologize for the incident. But I’d also give LeBlanc the benefit of the doubt since he may not have been fully aware of the monument’s significance to the British people.

If they do have issues with one another, I hope that they can bury the hatchet sooner than later. It’s not a good look for everyone, especially for Top Gear. The last thing it needs is a feud between its two lead hosts. At the very least, it’s not the kind of news that it would’ve wanted to see as the days leading up to the show’s return wind down.

Source: The Sun

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