UK

Argentine Ambassador Demands BBC Apology Over Top Gear Falklands Licence Plate Row

22/10/2014 01:50 BST | Updated 22/10/2014 07:59 BST

Argentina's ambassador to Britain on Tuesday demanded an apology from the BBC over an ill-fated trip by car show "Top Gear" to the South American country.

The programme's crew had to leave Argentina hastily last month after they faced violent protests for driving a car with licence plate H982 FKL — interpreted by some as a reference to the country's 1982 war with Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands.

The BBC insists the licence plate was a coincidence, and host Jeremy Clarkson has accused Argentine officials of whipping up anger for "political capital."

jeremy clarkson

The controversial Top Gear episode was filmed in Argentina

The Argentine embassy in London said Ambassador Alicia Castro had complained to the BBC about Clarkson's "provocative behaviour and offensive remarks toward the government and the Argentine people" and called for an apology.

"Furthermore, the Argentine ambassador deeply regretted Jeremy Clarkson's entirely false accusations of alleged resentment against British citizens in Argentina," the embassy said in a statement.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for the show told Huffington Post UK: “Production decided what cars they wanted for the trip and the budget per car. A production assistant bought three cars.

“An Argentinian newspaper decided that as the number plate contains the letters FKL and number 982, it must be a reference to the war. It is not. Nor did Jeremy choose or purchase the car.”

In regards the Ambassador's request, the BBC said it would follow its usual complaint procedures.

"Top Gear's" blend of cars and blokey banter has made it one of the BBC's most successful shows, broadcast in more than 100 countries.

jeremy clarkson

The motoring magazine is one of the BBC's most popular shows

But the programme has landed the broadcaster in trouble before. In 2011, the BBC apologised to Mexico after Clarkson and his co-hosts characterised Mexicans as lazy and oafish.

Earlier this year Clarkson asked for forgiveness following allegations that he used the racist n-word during filming for the show.

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