Letter from BBC re Top Gear & Death Road, Bolivia Special

I wrote a complaint to the BBC about putting the presenters at risk and doing this dangerous stunt ‘just for ratings’:

“For your e-mail regarding ‘Top Gear Bolivia Special’.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our
correspondents appreciate a quick response and we’re sorry you’ve had to
wait on this occasion.

We raised your concerns with the health and safety aspect of the programme
with the Executive Producer, Andy Wilman. Andy replied as follows:

“The presenters were indeed at risk on Death Road, but those circumstances
were not created by the BBC as such, but by the Top Gear team, including
the presenters themselves, who are involved in the editorial creation of
each film and only take part in the filming if they are happy to do so.

There was, as you note, extreme danger in the filming, but that in itself
is the point if you’re setting out to include a report on the nature of
Death Road. As regards survival training, again you’re right in your
assumption about their lack of it. But that also is part of the editorial
thrust with regards to the Top Gear presenters on their foreign adventures.
They are meant to be fish out of water, not to boost ratings, but to ensure
that we make the kind of programme we as a team want to make, which is one
that will be markedly different to those hosted by survival experts.”

We’d like to assure you that we’ve registered your comments on our audience
log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile
daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC,
and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all
other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.


Gemma McAleer
BBC Complaints”


2 responses to “Letter from BBC re Top Gear & Death Road, Bolivia Special

  1. They seem to be doing it at their own Risk,the BBC is officially abrogating all responsibility if anything happens to them. However it is all about the Ratings no matter what they say. They said the BBC that they had no Input into it as such,so on the one hand they are saying they had nothing to do with it on the other hand yes they do have something to do with it’s Creation.

    So if some Grizzely Accident happens to one or all of them we shall see who is responsible in the way of Lawsuits ETC. Such is the Nature of Programmes like this if there was no element of risk then no one would watch it.

  2. Yes, exactly. I wonder that the specialist lawyers dealing with Health & Safety have to say. I suppose it is a cop out as ‘they are in Bolivia’ and under ‘Bolivian’ law or something, that’s if there are any health & safety laws over there:-)

    Health & Safety at Work covers all employees in the UK. But clearly the BBC seem to be a little kingdom of their own.

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