Entertainment & Arts

Top Gear Argentina special to air at Christmas

Car with the controversial number plate Image copyright Sebastian Guzman
Image caption The BBC and Clarkson said the number plate's lettering had been a coincidence

The Top Gear special that prompted complaints from Argentina's London ambassador is to air at Christmas.

The announcement came on the same day a letter from the Argentine ambassador Alicia Castro, criticising the BBC, was made public.

The show's stars and crew had to abandon filming last month amid angry protests over a car number plate that appeared to refer to the Falklands War.

Ms Castro said a recent response received from the BBC was "inadequate".

Image caption Miranda Hart (top left) will be seen in Call the Midwife as well as two Miranda specials

In response to complaints concerning Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and the number plate incident, the BBC's director of television Danny Cohen wrote to Ms Castro in October.

"I would like to reassure you again that nothing we have seen or read since the team returned supports the view that this was a deliberate act," he wrote.

Ms Castro said Mr Cohen's "perfunctory" response showed he had not investigated the incident in any depth.

"Mr Cohen merely reassures us that it was not deliberate," she added. "We are not prepared to accept this as a full and adequate response to this supposed 'coincidence'."

Image caption Clara and The Doctor find themselves trapped on an Arctic base with Father Christmas

In a letter to the BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body, Ms Castro said Clarkson's behaviour in the country fell "well below" BBC editorial values.

A Porsche the Top Gear team were using had the registration H982 FKL, which some suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict between the UK and Argentina in 1982.

The BBC and Clarkson have maintained the plate was a coincidence, saying no deliberate offence had been intended.

Image caption Sir Bruce steps back into his dancing shoes for the Strictly Christmas Special

Top Gear will be split into two episodes, both focusing on the team's South American road trip.

The BBC's other festive offerings include Doctor Who, Call the Midwife and two final episodes of sitcom Miranda.

Other highlights include animated tale On Angel Wings, based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, with a voice cast including Sir Michael Gambon and Juliet Stevenson, and David Attenborough's Paradise Birds.

Image caption The usual family chaos descends on Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll)

Simon Callow narrates Rik Mayall: Lord of Misrule, a look at the career of the late comic, while Mrs Brown's Boys returns for a two-part special.

Sir Bruce Forsyth reunites with Tess Daly for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, while comedy offerings include festive shows from John Bishop and Michael McIntyre.

Avengers Assemble, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Quartet are among the films the BBC will show as part of its seasonal line-up.

"This year's Christmas line-up on BBC Television is one of our best ever," said Danny Cohen. "There's world-class talent, edge of your seat drama, outstanding comedy and fantastic storytelling."

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites