Jeremy Clarkson has insisted that footage showing the Top Gear team under attack by a mob in Argentina was real and was not exaggerated to boost ratings.
Clarkson compared the scene to that in the John Carpenter film, Assault on Precinct 13, where a police station is besieged by armed gang members.
“You get the sense that there’s a never-ending supply of — let’s call them ‘youths’ — coming out of the darkness, hurling anything they can lay their hands on,” he wrote of the assault.
It occurred in Tolhuin in the Tierra del Fuego region, as the Top Gear convoy attempted to travel through the town.
The Argentinian ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro, has claimed that Clarkson’s account is “fabricated” and cars were set on fire by the show’s team to obtain better ratings.
But Clarkson maintained that, for once, the events unfolded without provocation and the choice of the inflammatory registration plate, H982 FKL, a reference to the Falklands War, was not intentional.
The footage of the violence was shown on 27 December as part of the two-part Top Gear Patagonia special on BBC2.
Andy Wilman, Top Gear’s executive producer, told the Sunday Times: “We’ve been very careful to present it as it happened rather than put an agenda or spin on it.
“Viewers will make up their own mind.”