Top Gear Argentina Fiasco: Government emails revealed

Top Gear Argentina Fiasco: Government emails revealed

Newly released government emails have revealed the chaos as a diplomatic row was sparked by Top Gear’s controversial Christmas special in Argentina.

The two-part episode of the BBC motoring show saw Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond travel to Patagonia, where claims that a number plate referred to the Falklands War sparked violent protests that caused filming to be suspended and the crew to flee the country.

Mr Clarkson later wrote that they had “walked into a trap”, sparking a complaint to the BBC from the Argentinian ambassador to the UK as producers denied any deliberate reference to the conflict.

As the presenters were flown out of the country and producers drove to Chile on 3 October, the British Ambassador to Argentina wrote an email to his colleagues saying limited contact with the BBC had been “part of the difficulty”, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

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Dr John Freeman said there had been a “lack of information…as to when they intended to come here and what their itinerary or purpose/objectives were/are.”

Providing background in an email to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Americas deputy director, he said Top Gearrepresentatives had contacted the embassy in August but had not replied to follow-up phone messages and emails.

“We therefore had no knowledge of the BBC programme’s plans for Argentina until we saw local media reports about the team’s presence in Bariloche late last month,” Dr Freeman wrote to Archie Young.

“Thereafter there was no further reporting until the incidents in Tierra del Fuego played out last week.”

He said the embassy was contacted by FCO’s Global Response Centre as a mob chased the Top Gear team, and high-level diplomats intervened to help the presenters and crew leave the country safely – one group by air and one by road.

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But the saga continued as the BBC attempted to recover the abandoned Porsche 928 GT, Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Lotus Espirit, left near the Chilean border as the crew were chased by a mob.

“I remain unclear as to why the BBC considers it so vital to recover the vehicles (even if in scrap form),” Dr Freeman wrote.

He said the FCO’s assistance for the BBC was “limited” and wrote that they needed to contact an Argentinian lawyer, adding: “We cannot give any guarantee re the safety of BBC personnel or agents.”

The BBC declined to comment when contacted by The Independent.

Andy Wilman, then the executive producer of Top Gear, wrote at the time that any references drawn from the H982 FKL number plate were not deliberate and that baiting Argentinians over the Falklands War was “most definitely not the sort of stunt we’d pull”.

He said it was replaced with the registration H1 VAE before the team entered Ushuaia, where he described Argentinian veterans “kicking off”.

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“We apologised (and) explained they were now gone, and that they had not been a deliberate act,” Mr Wilman wrote.

“They didn’t believe us, told us to leave town or face the consequences, we did that very thing and drove into a night of violent terror.”

Mr Clarkson said he believed “someone could have been killed” as protesters banged on their cars and threw missiles, causing the presenters to hide in the hotel.

Top Gear was hit with further controversy in March after its star presenter was involved in a “fracas” over a steak dinner and allegedly punched producer Oisin Tymon.

Mr Clarkson’s contract was not renewed with the BBC and he, Mr Hammond and Mr May have since signed a contract for a new motoring show on Amazon Prime.

Source: Independent

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Jeremy Clarkson has £259k McLaren supercar delivered days after signing £6m Amazon deal

Jeremy Clarkson has £259k McLaren supercar delivered days after signing £6m Amazon deal

It may be time for Jeremy Clarkson to break out the bubbly as a £259,000 motor is dropped off at his flat.

The McLaren 675LT goes from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.9 seconds – and boasts a top speed of 205mph.

And if he did fancy a glass of something fizzy to celebrate, ­girlfriend Phillipa Sage turned up too – lugging a carrier bag full of sugar-free Coca-Cola Zero.

Clarkson, 55, was snapped earlier looking relaxed as he smoked a fag and sipped wine on his balcony in West London.

It is not known if he is reviewing the McLaren for his motoring column or whether he has splashed out after signing a £6million deal for a new car show with Amazon.

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It covers three 12-part series with the first due in autumn 2016 – six months after Chris Evans debuts his revamp of Top Gear on BBC2.

On signing the deal Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has previously admitted it will be “very, very, very expensive” to launch the show.

“They’re worth a lot and they know it,” he said of Clarkson and fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

The Financial Times puts the total cost to Amazon at £160million.

Meanwhile, Suzi Perry admitted she is on the radar for a role on the new Top Gear.

The 45-year-old said: “For the record, I know that my name is in the mix and I’m not saying I won’t be doing it.

“But there’s not been an offer for me to be alongside Chris, the main presenter.”

Jeremy Clarkson has £259k McLaren supercar delivered days after signing £6m Amazon deal

Source: Mirror

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YouTube star Lord Aleem auditions for Top Gear

YouTube star Lord Aleem auditions for Top Gear

Millionaire and supercar YouTube vlogger Lord Aleem confirms his intention to become the first British Asian Top Gear presenter. Will his audition impress?

Supercar socialite Lord Aleem has sparked a frenzy amongst his 50,000-strong Twitter followers by announcing he will be auditioning for Top Gear presenter.

The YouTube car vlogger and a friend of Scott Disick, star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, confirmed on social media he will join the Top Gear host race at the request of his fans.

Mega-rich petrolhead Aleem from Solihull has amassed over 21 million views with over 80 clips on YouTube. His supercar prowess comes from his family business, Platinum Executive Travel – a Birmingham-based private luxury car hire firm.

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His vlogs are centred around his lavish supercar collection attracting over 177,000 subscribers. His video ‘Picking up my new 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider’ generated almost 2 million views. Aleem is a strong contender, having a proven track record for talking about cars in front of the camera.

The 20-year-old throws his hat into the ring, as the newly-announced Top Gearpresenter Chris Evans challenged candidates to send in audition clips demonstrating ‘appetite, hunger and need’.

Aleem, however, faces stiff celebrity competition. Former Top Gear presenter Ashley Blake along with Sky’s F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham and The Gadget Show‘s Suzi Perry are all rumoured to be in the race.

Aleem’s presence may just cater to the diverse global fan base the show has generated over the years. And on that bombshell, we wish Lord Aleem the best of luck in with his audition!

YouTube star Lord Aleem auditions for Top GearYouTube star Lord Aleem auditions for Top Gear Source: Desi Blitz

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Jeremy Clarkson: Footage of Top Gear team under attack is real, insists presenter

Jeremy Clarkson: Footage of Top Gear team under attack is real, insists presenter

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.

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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.

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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.”

Source: Independent

New pic of ‘baby’ McLaren supercar

New pic of ‘baby’ McLaren supercar

Top Gear has revealed that McLaren’s upcoming, entry-level supercar will have at least one door.

This news comes off the back of McLaren’s latest teaser image for the ‘baby’ supercar, part of Woking’s new ‘Sports Series’ range. As you can see, there is a rather cool door involved.

And it’s no ordinary door, but a vertically opening dihedral door. They suspect there shall be another, too.

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What else do we know about the Sports Series? It’ll go up against both the new Mercedes-AMG GT S and Porsche 911 Turbo, and is expected to arrive around April 2015.

It’ll be based on a spin-off of the carbon fibre tubs used in the McLaren 650S and P1, with aluminium body panels and a variation of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 and seven-speed dual clutch ‘box.

We’ll find out more as McLaren continues its #BlackSwanMoments teaser campaign for the Sports Series range so stay tuned.

You can of course, read more about the car codenamed P13 here, and check out TG’s verdict on the Mercedes-AMG GT S here.

New pic of ‘baby’ McLaren supercar

New pic of ‘baby’ McLaren supercar

Source: Top Gear

Top Gear announces first UK arena tour

Top Gear announces first UK arena tour

UK Top Gear fans, we have good news! This year Top Gear Live is embarking on our biggest ever UK tour, taking in Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Belfast and London in a nationwide celebration of fire, smoke, incredible cars, competitive racing in unsuitable vehicles and, no doubt, certain things going a bit wrong.

The 90 minute show will be a mixture of old favourites and exclusive, never-seen-before stunts that we’re almost certain will work without any editing. And after appearing in the likes of Moscow, Barbados, Durban, Zagreb, Turin, Prague and Sydney, the three presenters are looking forward to donning their satin touring jackets closer to home.

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“Our Top Gear Live UK Arena tour is coming and I literally cannot wait. We’ll have supercars, stunts, explosions and The Stig. Come and see Top Gear, but without the editing. What could possibly go wrong?” said Clarkson.

May said: “In the past, we’ve taken Top Gear Live all over the world, but this year we’re taking it to Newcastle, Liverpool, Belfast, Sheffield and London. That way we’ll remember how lucky we are to live in Britain.”

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Hammond added “It’s all very exciting, taking our show on a tour of the UK. I suggested to the other two that we travelled around in a lovely old bus or something but they weren’t keen. I think most of their answers ended in ‘off”

Fancy it?

Top Gear Live tickets are on-sale from 9am on Friday 14th November prices starting at £35 (subject to per-ticket charge plus order processing fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk. VIP Packages including ringside seats are available at VIPNation.eu/TopGearLive

And here are all the dates:

FRI 13 FEB 15, LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA, 7.30PM

SAT 14 FEB 15, LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA, 3PM & 7.30PM

FRI 20 FEB 15, NEWCASTLE METRO ARENA, 7.30PM

SAT 21 FEB 15, NEWCASTLE METRO ARENA, 3PM & 7.30PM

FRI 22 MAY 15, BELFAST ODYSSEY ARENA, 7.30PM

SAT 23 MAY 15, BELFAST ODYSSEY ARENA, 3PM & 7.30PM

FRI 05 JUN 15, SHEFFIELD MOTORPOINT ARENA, 7.30PM

SAT 06 JUN 15, SHEFFIELD MOTORPOINT ARENA, 3PM & 7.30PM

SAT 28 NOV 15, LONDON THE O2, 3PM & 7.30PM

Source: Top Gear

This is Infiniti’s four-door supercar

This is Infiniti’s four-door supercar

This is the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration, and it’s a four-door, four-seat supercar. It weighs in over five metres long and two metres wide. It’s just 1.3m high and features monster 22in wheels.

It hints at an upcoming Infiniti range-topper, a statement of where Posh Nissan wants to head in the near future. Hence the big number: Q30 is the baby Infiniti, Q50 the mid-range car (hence the ’50’), and 80 for this range-topper.

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Apparently the powertrain will be an electric hybrid setup with “additional technologies”, including adaptive damping for the suspension. The doors open ‘portal style’, there’s lightweight acoustic glass, and an interior sculpted from carbon-fibre, aluminium and many leathers.

Infiniti design director Alfonso Albaisa says: “In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time.”

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The design will influence a smaller, BMW 4-Series rivalling Infiniti coupe. Infiniti’s chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura exclusively revealed to TopGear.com last week that work was already underway on a compact coupe, which we’ll see next year. Possibly with a GT-R-engined 560bhp version too…

Source: Top Gear