This is what happened last year when Jeremy Clarkson and 'Top Gear' were chased out of Argentina
Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC for allegedly getting into a fight with a producer of the award-winning car show "Top Gear." It's the latest in a series of controversies related to Clarkson, who has hosted the wildly popular program for over a decade.
This reminds us the last time Clarkson & Co. ran into a bit of bother and were forced to flee from a shooting location in Argentina by an angry mob last year.
"Top Gear" and its three hosts — Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond — were filming the show's annual Christmas Special episode in the southern Argentine region of Tiera Del Fuego when the license plate on a car driven by Clarkson caused locals to take offense.
The blue Porsche 928's plates — which read "H982 FKL" — were reportedly seen as a reference to the 1982 Falkland conflict between Great Britain and Argentina. (The program later explained that the car came with the plates and that no bellicose references were intended.)
According to the Daily Telegraph, the angry mob confronted the BBC crew at its hotel in the town of Ushuaia. During the confrontation, the show's hosts concealed themselves "under a researcher's mattress."
After the initial confrontation, the hosts and the female members of the crew were ushered onto a chartered plane and flown to safety in Buenos Aires. However, 29 members of the "Top Gear" crew stayed behind and were forced to escape the mob by driving the convoy of production vehicles to safety in nearby Chile.
The Falklands War is a particularly touchy subject for Ushuaia. The port city was the last port for the Argentine battle cruiser General Belgrano before it was sunk by British torpedo's during the conflict — taking the lives of more than 300 sailors. Controversy over the sinking of the warship and ownership of the Falklands Islands lingers, more than 30 years later.
Clarkson later confirmed on Twitter that all of the crew had made it out of Argentina. However,the "star cars" driven by the hosts were left behind in South America. The outspoken host and prolific newspaper columnist took to Twitter to explain the incident:
All TG crew now safely out of Argentina. I just got back to UK. Horrified to see so many newspapers have the story completely wrong.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 4, 2014
The number plate WAS a coincidence. When it was pointed out to us, we changed it. As pics in this morning's Mail show.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 4, 2014
This was not a jolly jape that went awry. For once, we did nothing wrong.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 4, 2014
My profound thanks to all the people who helped. And to the sensible Argentinians who have apologised.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 4, 2014
This is my car on its last day in Argentina. Note the plates that everyone says caused offence. pic.twitter.com/mCfncbMa6F— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 4, 2014
As everyone is now finding out after Clarkson's latest dustup, the automotive program and its bombastic lead host are no strangers to controversy. Last year, the host was accused of using a racial epithet in a crass joke during an episode set in Myanmar. Over the past decade, "Top Gear" has drawn criticism from numerous groups ranging from truck drivers to Mexicans.
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