Matt LeBlanc, one of the new hosts of the revamped motoring show, was seen in a Ford Mustang with professional rally driver Ken Block as they did wheel spins in the near vicinity of the war memorial.

Retired colonel Richard Kemp told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that he felt the stunt was in "bad taste", adding: "This is a sacred tribute to millions of people who have done far more for their country than Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc ever will.

"(Former host) Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint but I don't believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste."

He added to The Sun: "It’s worse than doing a stunt in a cemetery and screaming round people’s graves. It’s a shocking desecration of one of our most sacred sites. The BBC should apologise and cut that part of the show.”

Despite the BBC defending the stunt, insisting they had been given full approval for Westminster Council for the scenes to be filmed in that location, Chris Evans apologised during his Radio 2 breakfast show on Monday morning (14Mar16).

"They (the pictures) look entirely disrespectful, which of course was not, and would never be, the intention of the Top Gear team or Matt. These pictures were taken with a long lens camera from, I believe, Parliament Square, but the point is it does not look good at all, whatsoever," he said.

"And so on behalf of the Top Gear team and Matt I would like to apologise unreservedly for what these images seem to portray."

Chris wasn't involved in the scenes, due to air as part of the new series of Top Gear in May (16), himself.

A spokesperson for Top Gear previously insisted the scenes had been made to look closer to the Cenotaph than they actually were, as in reality they were filmed 40 metres away from the monument.