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Top Gear team flees Argentina after angry crowd pelts them with stones in wake of Jeremy Clarkson Falklands number plate row

The BBC cast and crew are believed to have left Argentina for Chile

Jess Denham
Friday 03 October 2014 23:16 BST
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Jeremy Clarkson has reportedly been escorted out of Argentina after angering locals with a Falklands War number plate
Jeremy Clarkson has reportedly been escorted out of Argentina after angering locals with a Falklands War number plate (Getty Images)

The Top Gear team has been forced to flee Argentina after angry people threw stones at them in the wake of the Falklands War number plate row.

The BBC cast and crew abandoned their cars at the roadside after a crowd became enraged at a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were escorted to the airport and left for Chile three days earlier than scheduled after protests led by Falklands veterans began outside their hotel.

A local paper covered the attacks, reporting that there were "people injured and police cars damaged".

The outrage first started when local Argentinian officials claimed that the Porsche's license plate was a deliberate reference to the 1982 war between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland Islands.

The BBC has confirmed that the Top Gear crew has left Argentina but declined to comment on the latest reports.

Andy Wilman, Top Gear's executive producer, has insisted that the issue was merely an unfortunate coincidence, and that the notoriously controversial Clarkson was not intending to cause political problems.

"Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme," he told the Guardian. "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."

Clarkson has come under fire this year for a string of offensive remarks. It emerged that he had appeared to use the n-word in nursery rhyme "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe" during a Top Gear outtake and he 'jokingly' referred to an Asian man as a "slope" in the show's Burma special.

"Even the angel Gabriel would struggle to survive with that hanging over his head. It's inevitable that one day, someone, somewhere will say that I've offended them and that will be that."

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