Argentina complains to BBC over 'Top Gear' presenter Clarkson

Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:44pm EDT
 
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By William James

LONDON (Reuters) - Argentina's ambassador in London has made a formal complaint to the BBC, accusing Jeremy Clarkson, the host of globally popular TV motoring show "Top Gear," of provocative and insulting behavior during the filming of an episode in Argentina.

Alicia Castro visited the BBC's offices in person on Monday to allege that Clarkson had evoked memories of the 1982 Falklands war during filming and then made insulting remarks about the Argentine government and people.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Argentina have been strained ever since the war over the sovereignty of the remote islands, 300 miles off the Argentine coast, which they respectively refer to as the Falklands and the Malvinas.

A statement from the Argentine embassy said Castro had called for the BBC to apologize for "Clarkson's provocative behavior and offensive remarks toward the government and the Argentine people."

She presented the BBC's Director of Television Danny Cohen with a dossier of letters from British citizens, lawmakers and celebrities which she said condemned Clarkson's behavior. She said she was awaiting a response.

The BBC said it had received a complaint and would apply its usual processes.

The outspoken Clarkson made headlines in the British press earlier this month with vivid accounts of an incident in which he said an angry mob objected to the registration number of a car he was driving through Argentina during filming.

The number plate "H982 FKL" was seen as a reference to the year and location of the war in which over 900 people died. Clarkson and the BBC said the vehicle number was a coincidence.   Continued...

 
BBC automobile program "Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson speaks with a member of his crew while filming a segment outside 10 Downing Street in London November 29, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett