Jeremy Clarkson, the controversial presenter of the international hit BBC television show Top Gear, has claimed that protests surrounding the filming of a special episode in Argentina last week were orchestrated by the Government.
Clarkson and his team are accused of driving cars with licence plates calculated to offend Argentines because they referred to the 1982 Falklands conflict. The plate on a Porsche 928 driven by Clarkson was H982 FKL.
"For once, we did nothing wrong," Clarkson said.
Tweeting on his return to Britain, he insisted there had been no attempt to goad the Argentines. "The number plate was a coincidence. When it was pointed out to us, we changed it."
Two other cars were said to carry plates, N269 KNG and EKH 646J, that roughly coincided with the death tolls: 649 Argentines and 258 Britons.
Argentine officials remained unconvinced it was a coincidence.
Clarkson and his team, including co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May, maintain they were subjected to unwarranted abuse from an angry mob in the lobby of their hotel in Ushuaia.
Clarkson's Porsche, with the Lotus Esprit driven by May and the Mustang Mach I driven by Hammond, were stoned outside the town of Tolhuin as they made their way to the Chilean border crossing of San Sebastian, escorted by police after they were declared "persona non grata".
Clarkson said the incident was "the most terrifying thing I've ever been involved in". His tweets yesterday read: "Thousands chased crew to border. Someone could have been killed" and "This was not a jolly jape that went awry. For once, we did nothing wrong."
The BBC said the production crew and the trio of presenters left the country three days early after being denied permission to film by local authorities.
"I have no doubt they came to mock us and I'm proud of the peaceful reaction of our people," said Juan Manuel Romano, human rights secretary of Ushuaia.