Anorak | Wotcha Top Gear: The BBC And Jeremy Clarkson Goad Argentines Into Violence

Wotcha Top Gear: The BBC And Jeremy Clarkson Goad Argentines Into Violence

by | 5th, October 2014



BBC Top Gear was filming in Argentina for one of its Funny Foreigners travelogues. Sidekicks James May and Richard Hammond were driving an old Lotus Esprit and a Mustang, but their leader, Jeremy Clarkson, the to-deadline controversy maker who likes shouting at people, was driving a Porsche 928, with a number plate referencing the Falkland Islands and 1982, the year of Britain’s war with Argentina (number plate H982 FKL).

For some mad reason people who had lost loved ones in that war thought it a tad boorish and taunting. They noticed the stunt. Top Gear mattered and was entertaining. Job done.

But some locals reacted with violence. And Clarkson was unnerved:

“I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan, but this was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been involved in. There were hundreds of them. They were hurling rocks and bricks at our cars. This is not just some kind of jolly Top Gear jape – this was deadly serious.”

He’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan but not in any military capacity.

Anyhow. It’s a terrific holiday story, and one Clarkson is keen to share with readers of his Sunday Times column:

IT ALL started to go wrong while we were filming on a mountain in the world’s southernmost ski resort, just outside the city of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. We knew Ushuaia was the port from which the General Belgrano had sailed on its doomed voyage at the start of the Falklands War and we knew that anti-British feelings still run hard and deep, here at the bottom of the world.

As a result we were on our best behaviour. We were posing for all photographs, and happily accepting requests for autographs. The sun was out. All was calm. We were even referring to the slopes as “gradients”. Certainly there was no suggestion that we had walked into the middle of a war we thought had ended 32 years ago.

One thing: the car’s number plate. The one referencing the Falkland Islands and 1982. The natives had seen it. They were restless. You were, after all, employed by the BBC, the British State’s media mouthpiece.

“This is a mafia state,” said one onlooker. “Best you do as you’re told.”…

So we did, but going to the hotel did not work. A gang of people were waiting there. They said they were war veterans, which seemed unlikely as most were in their twenties and thirties. Bonnets were banged. Abuse was hurled. The police arrived and immediately breathalysed Andy Wilman, our executive producer — we’re not sure why.

Maybe they hoped he was drunk and

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Posted: 5th, October 2014 | In: Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink