The Grand Tour presenter Jeremy Clarkson has made a claim that an airport worker kept him off a UK-bound flight in a "hate crime," it has been reported.
Former Top Gear host Clarkson, 56, and his two co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, believed they were "kicked off" the flight from Stuttgart to London Heathrow over a Top Gear Argentina special that prompted outrage over a car number plate that appeared to refer to the Falklands War.
The trio were due to take a British Airways flight back to the UK after filming their new Amazon Prime show, The Grand Tour, when a check-in agent allegedly stopped them from boarding.
Clarkson later said that the Stuttgart Airport worker, Manuel Pereira, had said he was from Argentina before not allowing them onto the plane in Germany on Monday (14 November). Pereira later claimed that he is Spanish, not Argentinian, and denied swearing.
The outspoken TV host reportedly referred to the airline employee as an "ignorant little worm" and accusing him of "telling colleagues the three men were too drunk to fly, which prevented them boarding". He also called for Pereira's arrest after the worker allegedly shouted: "F*** you!" at Clarkson and co.
Clarkson told The Sun: "He's a stupid, bitter and twisted little man," before claiming that the attendant "made us miss our plane and he will pay for it. The police said it was a hate crime and he would be arrested. Yes, even the Germans were 100% on our side — for once."
Reutlingen police later stated that no charges were pressed and no arrests were made, The Telegraph reports.
Christian Woerner, press officer at the Reutlingen police department, explained that the television crew were in the airport lounge and missed the announcement saying that the BA flight – which was previously announced as delayed – was in fact on schedule.
The gate was subsequently closed when the crew finally arrived, and an altercation occurred between the airport employee after he would not let them board the flight.
Clarkson and his crew appeared to have booked an easyJet flight back to the UK, with the presenter tweeting later on Monday: "Credit where credit is due. @easyJet First class service from Stuttgart this evening. Hannah especially".
Police claim they are unaware of what was said during the row, but had not been alerted to any "hate crime" allegations. The spokesman said: "I don't know what was said during the argument, but I doubt the Falklands were mentioned".
Woerner also claimed that Clarkson was handed a card by police in case he planned to follow up on the incident – but as of Tuesday afternoon – he had not yet used the number.
Clarkson previously had an argument with Argentinian officials over a number plate featured on a car in BBC Top Gear's 2014 Christmas special.
He fled Argentina under police escort after locals became infuriated after the number plate on the Porsche he was driving was presumed to be a provocation about the 1982 Falklands War. The outburst forced him, Hammond and May to leave their hotel and headed for the airport when the lobby was invaded by furious war veterans.