BBC’s hit car show Top Gear was in Mansfield over the weekend filming for its upcoming series.
New hosts Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris took to Mansfield’s streets in a timed circuit around the town centre.
Most of Mansfield’s inner ring road was closed off to the public as the television racers spun around town in what was only advertised as a ‘secret event’, with road closures in place from 3-11am in most of the town.
It was suggested by the council that it was “sworn to secrecy” by the BBC in order to reduce crowd numbers and protect the safety of people in attendance.
According to the council, “there was a risk that filming wouldn’t have gone ahead if word had got out in advance” about what was happening in the town.
Readers on Your Chad’s Facebook page, fb.com/MansfieldChad, gave a mixed reaction to the event, with some suggesting the council “missed a trick” by not promoting the event.
Kerrey Adamson said: “What an absolute shame this was secret. What a burst of money and unity this could have brought to the town.
“It could have been made to be an amazing event. I think this is totally disrespectful.
“You wanted to use our town just for the name but showed no respect to the fan base and the residents that would have loved to support this.”
Teresa Susan Ashton said: “If this gets televised it’s going to look like Mansfield is a ghost town!”
Shirley Ann Topliss added: “I think it was disgusting that the people of Mansfield town knew nothing about this.
“I am sure a lot of them would have loved the chance to go down to see it, after all it’s these people that pay to help the town keep going.”
However other readers appreciated the secrecy of the event and said that it is “common sense” to reduce crowd numbers for filming.
Kelly Cook said: “It was obviously kept a secret for a reason, maybe the film crew didn’t want lots of people there too hard to film.
“It is common sense, some folk have got nothing better to moan about.”
Wayne Boaler added: “They were probably secret about it all because Mansfield would have been packed they are racing cars there, and people would have been in the bloody way.”
Kirsty ‘talula’ Layton said: “People moaning about businesses, I’m pretty sure they’d have had warning and even compensated.”
Others suggested that the Top Gear team "should have come ten years ago" when there was the circuit in Mansfield town centre.
Ollie Novell said: "If the BBC wanted to film some proper racing in Mansfield, they should have come 10 years ago on a Friday night round ‘the circuit’ until it was ruined by speed hump and road closures!"
Scott Giles said: "They should of used the proper circuit. That was for real racers!"