Jeremy Clarkson has said that the attack on himself and the Top Gear crew in Argentina was the scariest experience of his life.
“I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan, but this was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been involved in,” said Clarkson who has now arrived back in the UK.
The presenter said that a mob shouted “burn their cars” and tried to attack the convoy with pickaxe handles after discovering they were using a Porsche with the numberplate H982 FKL which they believed was a reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
“There were hundreds of them,” he told the Sun. “They were hurling rocks and bricks at our cars.”
He also posted a series of Tweets critical of the protestors.
Echoing an earlier statement by the show’s executive producer Andy Wilman, Clarkson insisted that he and the rest of the team did not deliberately choose the H982 FKL plate.
Referring to an earlier protest that had been reportedly held outside the hotel used by the crew of the BBC2 show by Argentine Falklands War veterans, the controversial presenter wrote:
Further tweets added: “This was not a jolly jape that went awry. For once, we did nothing wrong.
“We had planned a good ending for the show. But thanks to the government’s foolishness, it’s now even better.”
Footage has emerged on YouTube appearing to show the attack which is thought to have taken place at a petrol station near the town of Tolhuin in Argentina as the show’s convoy drove to the Chilean town of Punta Arenas.
In the footage, an angry crowd gathered ahead of sports cars shouting “puto” – Spanish for male prostitute – and pelting the cars with rocks.
The BBC issued a statement which said: “We’re pleased the team is safe and would like to thank all of those who have helped. As the executive producer has made clear, the number plate issue is a very unfortunate coincidence.”