Top Gear car plate complaints rejected by BBC Trust
28 May 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
The crew fled Argentina following protests over the plates
The BBC Trust has rejected complaints over Top Gear’s Patagonia special, in which a car number plate which appeared to refer to the 1982 Falklands war.
The production team fled Argentina following protests over the use of the registration number H982 FKL.
Complainants doubted that the number plate was randomly allocated. Their concerns were rejected by the BBC but were passed to the trust on appeal.
It found there was no evidence of “a deliberate reference” to the war.
The initial complaints, received prior to the programme’s broadcast, said the connection with the Falklands War would have been clear to the producers and the plates should have been changed.
Two complainants also wanted the BBC to apologise to Argentina for any offence. They said the decision to air the programme as a Christmas special was particularly offensive.
A response from the BBC Complaints Management and Editorial Standards Adviser included a blog written by the executive producer of Top Gear Andy Willman, denying allegations the number plate had been deliberately chosen by the production team.
The complaints were subsequently investigated by the controller of entertainment commissioning who said: “To date, there is nothing that we have seen or read since the team returned which supports the view that the number plates in question were deliberately employed, which is in-keeping with what production staff and the presenters have said.”
As such, the complaints were not upheld before being escalated to the BBC Trust, which is the corporation’s governing body.
Reviewing the appeals, the trust’s Head of Editorial Standards said they did not have a reasonable prospect of success and proposed not to put …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment