During filming for a segment for the new Top Gear, co-presenter Matt LeBlanc almost ran over a cameraman who was lying down to record footage of the Porsche they had been road testing. This event apparently happened over a month ago as the crew were filming in South Africa.
According to the Mirror who first broke the story, an insider to the show mentioned:
In between filming, Matt got into a Porsche they’d been road-testing, turned on the ignition and was about to take it for a drive. But he was completely unaware one of the cameramen was lying down alongside it at ground level, filming low shots…
The crew member was completely oblivious Matt was about to speed off too, – but a tracking cameraman, who was sat in the distance, could see what was about to happen and started waving and screaming at Matt to stop…
Matt was a bit confused but got out of the car. When he realised he could have run the man over he was noticeably shaken up. He said he needed a bit of time out… He reappeared a few hours later, wanting to know that the cameraman was OK – which he was. He said, ‘Where’s that guy I nearly ran over?’…
It was one of those instances where, if the tracking man and Matt had reacted even a few seconds later, it could have been really serious. Both of them appreciated what a lucky escape it was.
This close call apparently left the Top Gear presenter shaken and had to take time off to recover from the incident. Had it gone differently, this would have been another nightmare to add on to the laundry list of nightmares and missteps this show has experienced during filming.
Just last month LeBlanc got into some controversy while drifting and doing burnouts near a war memorial, the Cenotaph. This act angered many veterans, politicians, and members of the public. There has also been some speculation whether this was a stunt to help publicize the rebooted show. Another co-presenter, Chris Evans, also mentioned that he spends only 4 hours per day to work on the Top Gear show, while earning £5 million on the contract. Perhaps any publicity is good publicity, and the new Top Gear crew is doing their best to stay in the public’s eyes lately. Question is, will people tune in starting May 22nd?