Top Gear admits staging a traffic jam scene

In this scene from Top Gear James May reverses after being stopped by three cars with learner plates

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Top Gear has admitted deliberately staging a traffic jam scene in the last episode of the BBC TV series.

Viewers watched presenter James May drive a £5.6m Ferrari California Spider owned by BBC Radio 2 host Chris Evans.

One scene saw May forced to reverse on a tight road after being hemmed in by three cars with learner plates.

A BBC spokesperson said the ruse was "a light-hearted take on the perils of driving one of the rarest and most valuable cars on the road."

"It is not a documentary," they added.

The BBC said the following scene shown on Sunday's episode, where a group of schoolchildren ran towards the car was real.

Ofcom said it had not received any complaints about the episode.

The motoring show is one of the BBC's biggest selling programme brands around the world, regularly pulling in a UK audience of eight million viewers.

It is not the first time the show has been accused of mocking up scenes.

In 2009, Top Gear bosses admitted setting up a stunt involving a caravan attached to an airship straying over Norwich airport, provoking police to intervene.

At the time, a BBC spokesperson said: "As an entertainment programme, Top Gear prides itself on making silly films that don't pretend to represent real life.

"Any suggestion it deliberately misled viewers is patently ludicrous."

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