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Top Gear filmed today around an empty Alton Towers

Alton Towers has become the scene of filming for top TV show Top Gear as the BBC make the most of the empty theme park.

Filming has now restarted on the hit car show with Paddy McGuinness, "Freddie" Flintoff and Chris Harris at the helm.

The trio and their camera crew arrived at Alton Towers today, Friday, June 12, to film an electric car race around the resort which is currently shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The presenters had to navigate a Honda-e, Mini Electric and Vauxhall Corsa-e around a specially constructed Top Gear maze spanning the 550-acre theme park and found themselves hurtling by rollercoasters such as Oblivion and Nemesis.

McGuinness said: "I've always dreamed of having a theme park to myself for the day although these aren't necessarily the circumstances I'd have chosen.

"Mustn't grumble though - it's great to get the gang back together after lockdown and we're raring to go - two metres apart at all times of course!"

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Top Gear filmed today around an empty Alton Towers Top Gear filmed today around an empty Alton Towers coronavirus

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The trio came up with an inventive way to ensure that the group all kept their distance, by carrying around a two-metre pole.

A red boxing glove was attached to the end of the pole, much to the annoyance of Harris.

McGuinness later shared a video of himself using the pole on his Instagram page, and captioned the clip: "Good to be back with the cuddly toys. Social distancing applicable. #topgear #weisback #friday #newseries."

Clare Pizey, Top Gear's executive producer, said: "We are so pleased to be able to start filming again and a deserted theme park is a great place to start.

"If what we've shot so far is anything to go by, social distancing doesn't get in the way of Paddy, Freddy and Chris having a brilliant time and causing mayhem along the way."

Following the success of the first two series with the new trio, it was announced that Top Gear's next series will be moving to BBC One. It will debut on the channel later this year.

James Walker, marketing director for Alton Towers Resort, said: "The temporary closure of the theme park brought about a unique opportunity to work with the BBC and the team at Top Gear to do something very different.

"The teams have worked incredibly hard to pull off an exciting day of filming that we are very much looking forward to seeing on screens later this year.

"We would like to thank everyone involved who have worked incredibly hard to make today happen within all the additional safety measures required."

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