Argentina demands 'Top Gear' apology from BBC

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2014 12:47 PM

LONDON (AP) — 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 program's crew had to leave Argentina hastily last month after they faced violent protests for driving a car with license 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 license plate was a coincidence, and host Jeremy Clarkson has accused Argentine officials of whipping up anger for "political capital."

The Argentine embassy in London said Ambassador Alicia Castro had complained to the BBC about Clarkson's "provocative behavior 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.

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.

But the program has landed the broadcaster in trouble before. In 2011, the BBC apologized to Mexico after Clarkson and his co-hosts characterized 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.