Clarkson blames "mischievous" papers for interpreting Falklands row as PR stunt

Jeremy Clarkson has denied deliberately creating a stir in Argentina with a reference to the Falklands War during filming for Top Gear's latest series.

In his column in The Sunday Times yesterday Clarkson denied that he had tried to ruffle feathers when he arrived in Argentina in a car with a number plate referencing the 1982 Falklands War - H982FKL.

Clarkson said that when the team arrived in Tierra del Fuego – the region of the Malvinas, as the Falklands are known – the number plate had already been removed following reports on Twitter days earlier.

Clarkson wrote: "I know mischievous newspaper in Britain have said it was all my fault because of the number plate. But that wasn’t even mentioned down there because the plate in question had been replaced. No. We were English and that was a good enough reason for the state government to send 29 people into a night filled with rage."

While Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May managed to escape the country the rest of the Top Gear production team endured a treacherous journey being chased by mobs hurling bricks as they made their way to the Chilean border. 

Clarkson said "we walked into a trap" and added the anti-British feeling in Tierra del Fuego was such that Argentina’s top-selling newspaper quoted a member of the war veteran’s association saying that "the British had a long-running habit of being dishonest".

Mariano Plecity, the regional government minister in Tierra del Fuego, demanded a written apology from Clarkson and the Top Gear production team and said: "The licence plate number on the car was a provocation and a very big offence in all of Tierra del Fuego."

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