Richard Hammond: Argentinians behaved ‘like animals’ after Falklands numberplate row
Richard Hammond criticised the way some Argentinians treated the Top Gear crew
Richard said the popular BBC programme’s crew were involved in violent clashes with the Argentine public who threw rocks at them as they filmed the Christmas special in the country.
Speaking on tonight’s Chatty Man on Channel 4, the Top Gear star told how he had to flee the country with James May and Jeremy Clarkson, who previously described the experience as “the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been involved in.”
Clarkson, who has been criticised for make insensitive jokes in the past, was pictured driving a Porsche with the licence plate ‘H982 FKL’ – thought by some to refer to the war of 1982.
Richard insisted the numberplate was a complete accident and criticised the animosity directed at the show’s crew, describing their treatment as “awful”.
Some believed the controversial license plate referred to the Falklands war
He said: “I mean every window in the car was smashed, they had to put jackets up against the windows, and I think their miserable plight should be seen, because it was awful.”
Adding: “They scared the crap out of our crew, and that’s unfair.”
The 44-year-old told host Alan Carr: “The number plate was not on purpose.
“That car, there were only two in the UK, and that is the one we bought.
“We have never checked a number plate in our lives.
“That is the number plate the car was born with.”
The Top Gear presenters were forced to flee the country
Also appearing on Chatty Man were the X Factor finalists and Bruce Forsyth
The Top Gear Patagonia Special will be aired in two hour-long broadcasts over the Christmas period.
The BBC decided to go ahead with airing the episodes despite the Argentinian ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro, expressing her “discontent” at the company’s handling of an official complaint.
Speaking for the first time after the incident, Richard decribed the incident as: “a terrible gag if we’d planned it”.
Adding: “We wouldn’t joke about soldiers, we simply wouldn’t. That one was a genuine accident”.
He said: “The whole thing turned out to be a bit crazy. It turns on one moment and I remember it very distinctly.
“There was a tweet from somebody pointing out that one of the registration plates on one of the cars could be seen as having a reference to the Falklands War.”