Top Gear walks a very narrow line between documentary, sitcom and reality television. And while some aspects of it are true, it shouldn't be a huge shock that there are plenty of staged elements. Still, there seem to be elements of the British public that think everything shown on the telly is true, which makes the latest controversy over Top Gear's fakery seem rather silly to us.

The anger stems from the July 21 episode, which actually airs tonight on BBC America (spoiler alert from here out), where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to convert a Ford Transit into a hovercraft. The resulting hovervan can work on the road, and can kind of work on the water, as demonstrated during an extended cruise on the River Avon.

This is where people are getting angry. In one scene, the trio pass a riverside restaurant and decided to stop in for a bite. Patrons sitting on the water's edge are then mercilessly blown and splashed by the jet wash of the hovervan's fans. Here's the controversy – those "patrons" were apparently staged actors. Yes, Top Gear is in trouble with the British public because they used actors for a segment rather than ruining the days of unsuspecting people.

Video and images were released on Twitter by one of the actors, according to Britain's The Mirror. A BBC spokesperson's response to this latest uproar is pretty much what we were thinking as we watched the episode last weekend: "I think Top Gear viewers are intelligent enough not to have been taken in." Clearly not all of them. Check out video of the stunt below.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I cannot imagine how any thought this scene was not staged when seeing it. I thought so immediately as this was beyond the usual inconveniences the guys cause on their outings. They would have been sued if this was real, and could have caused serious injury or death if someone dining there had a heart condition, etc.
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL @ uptight people
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is just an entertainment show that features cars. If you are looking for a proper car show,check out Fifth Gear.
      • 1 Year Ago
      i loved that scene..and yeah. people are stupid
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is the problem, too many people think what happens on top gear is real and legit and then they sound like idiots when talking about cars
      • 1 Year Ago
      this just in: pro wrestling is staged!
        • 1 Year Ago
        I can't believe that. I feel abused. I need to sue someone.
      • 1 Year Ago
      These same people must think cartoons are real.
        • 1 Year Ago
        then who lives in a pineapple under the seas !!!!!!!???????
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't think people who watch "reality shows' are really that intelligent. Most intelligent people do not sit and watch mindless television shows by the hour.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Top Gear is not a reality show. You clearly haven't spent any time watching it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      people are kinda stupid. korean top gear has captions on almost every scene saying "it is staged, please do not attempt at home" "done by professional drivers, do not attempt at home" "road is safe and with consent, please do not attempt" there's also captions on what ABS or other acronyms mean. they ought to treat everyone like idiots so there is no confusion (/sarcasm)
        • 1 Year Ago
        IF top gear america was anything like the real top gear, it would be the same.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Top Gear has gotten progressively more obvious in its staged antics in the past 5 or so years, but it really doesn't surprise me that a couple of idiots on the internet believe anything they see on tv. Nothing will come of it of course, they'll continue making the show with similar scenes in the future and the idiots who can't tell fiction from reality can just huff and puff from the sidelines. The only "change" I'd like to see here is working toward the day when company spokespeople are just allowed to openly mock the people who can't understand how things work, instead of having to tip-toe around the morons by complimenting the viewers who did understand.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love this show, It's the adult version "Wind in the Willows" with Jeremy Clarkson as Toad!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Much ado about nothing.
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