A host of BBC car show

Top Gear

has apologised "unreservedly" for filming stunt driving near Britain's best-known war memorial.

Chris Evans says program makers were "unwise" to film close to the Cenotaph, a stone monument to Britain's war dead near Parliament in central London.

Some bystanders - including British Chancellor George Osborne - complained after co-host Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver were seen performing "doughnuts" in the street nearby.

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Richard Kemp, a retired army officer, called the stunt "gravely disrespectful."

Actor and Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc waves as he sits with rally driver Ken Block during the filming of BBC Top Gear in Westminster, London. Photo / AP
Actor and Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc waves as he sits with rally driver Ken Block during the filming of BBC Top Gear in Westminster, London. Photo / AP

During the stunt, LeBlanc and professional rally driver Ken Block surprised a bride and groom and their wedding guests at St Paul's Cathedral near the Cenotaph as they motored past, with the former

Friends

star sticking his arm out of the car window to wave.

The BBC said photos made the car appear closer to the monument than it really was, but Evans said he understood why some people were angry.

He said Monday that "on behalf of the Top Gear team and Matt, I would like to apologise unreservedly for what these images seem to portray."

- AAP