Motoring show makes gesture after hearing of country’s threat to punish gay sex with death by stoning

Support for LGBT rights has come from a surprising quarter after Top Gear sprayed two cars used in filming in Brunei in rainbow colours in opposition to the country’s threat to make homosexuality punishable by stoning to death.

Thought to be the first time the BBC Two motoring programme has shown solidarity with the LGBT community, the move appears to back the claim made by the new lineup of Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris that they would bring a “different vibe” to the revamped show – which returned on Sunday night.

Related: 'There’s hugs and nice bits': new Top Gear aims for emotional depth

Related: Lazy homophobia signals the end of the road for Clarkson and co | Fiona Sturges

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