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.