BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear team were forced to leave Argentina under police escort after their car’s license plate incited anger with locals. The sequence ‘H982 FKL’ appeared to reference the Falklands War.
The registration number in question on the Porsche car seemed to refer to the year 1982, when the UK defeated Argentina to keep hold of the disputed Falkland Islands.
The BBC confirmed that the Top Gear cast was leaving Argentina, but denied that the offending car’s number plate was chosen specifically to incite local residents and bring back memories of the war.
“Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming program; 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,” Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman said.
The show’s main presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, and his crew had flown to Argentina to record a show where they would drive along the Patagonian Highway to the southernmost tip of the South American country.
However, they departed three days before the filming was scheduled to end, after they were denied permission to continue filming by Argentinian authorities. The decision took place amid protests from war veterans and politicians.
Angry locals gathered in front of the crew’s hotel. According to reports, the stars of the show had to abandon their cars and needed a police escort after irate residents began throwing stones at them.