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'Falklands' number plate 'sent a chill' through Top Gear team

Top Gear host Richard Hammond has claimed the programme team felt a "real chill" when it dawned on them their number plate could cause offence in Argentina.

The presenters of the show and their crew fled the country - where they were filming a Christmas special - as a result of protests over the plate on Jeremy Clarkson's Porsche which read H982 FKL, which some interpreted as an insensitive reference to the Falklands War in 1982.

Hammond, speaking for the first time about the incident, assured viewers that it was an innocent coincidence, echoing comments which have been made by his colleagues.

He said it would have been "a terrible gag if we'd planned it - we wouldn't joke about soldiers, we simply wouldn't. That one was a genuine accident".


Hammond, speaking on the Chris Evans show on Radio 2, said: "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.

"There was a real chill went through all of us - it was a distinct moment, we all [went] 'hang on a minute - it's a bit tenuous but yet it probably does'."

He said it was the choice of cars which came first and Clarkson had dedided he had wanted a Porsche 928 GT for the trip.

"We didn't look at the plates. I've never looked at a number plate that we've used on a car for a special. Not with that kind of cynical outlook."

The show has been at the centre of a number of recent controversies with presenter Clarkson having already been given a final warning by the BBC.