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Top Gear in Falklands 'insult' faux pas

2014-10-03 08:40

FALKLANDS FILM DEBACLE: Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and crew were denied permission to film in an Argentine province because authorities said the number plate on one car alluded to the Falklands War. Image: AFP

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Top Gear has left an Argentine province after being denied permission to film by local authorities which said one of its cars had a number plate alluding to the Falklands War with Britain and the South American country.

Juan Manuel Romano, secretary of social development for Ushuaia in southern Tierra del Fuego province, said the crew and its host Jeremy Clarkson were escorted to the airport.

Romano said: "They have taken the decision to leave."

VETS STAGE PROTEST

The crew was in Argentina to film using three cars; a Porsche, a Lotus and a Mustang.

Officials said the Porsche had the licence plate which read H982 FKL, a reference they felt alluded to the 1982 war over the Falklands Islands. Argentina, which lost the war, still claims the island group it calls Las Malvinas.

A group of former Argentine combatants in the war held a protest in front of the hotel where Clarkson and the BBC crew were staying. British newspaper The Telegraph said the BBC denied the plate was intentionally chosen.

'IT'S COMPLETELY UNTRUE'

BBC executive producer Andy Wilman was quoted as saying: "Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme; to suggest that this car was either chosen for its number plate or that an alternative number plate was substituted for the original is completely untrue."

In 2011 the BBC apologised to Mexico for remarks made on Top Gear that characterised Mexicans as "lazy and oafish".

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