Airport and police challenge Jeremy Clarkson's claim he was stopped from boarding flight over Falklands row


Jeremy Clarkson became involved in a "verbal dispute" with an airport official after he was unable to board a flight from Stuttgart Airport, German police said.

The former Top Gear star and a film crew were stopped from boarding the BA flight to Heathrow after missing several calls from the lounge, both a police spokesman and an official from Stuttgart Airport said.

Jeremy was suspended and then later fired by the BBC last year after a "fracas" that saw him punch Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.

On Tuesday the 56-year-old claimed he and his team were barred from getting on the flight by airport worker Manuel Pereira, who he said told him at the departure gate: "I'm from Argentina, so f*** you."

Jeremy Clarkson.
Jeremy claimed he and his team were barred from getting on the flight at Stuttgart Airport (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Spokesman for the Reutlingen police department, Christian Worner, said Jeremy and the film crew "paused in the lounge and thereby they did not hear the call for the delayed flight to London.

"Mr Clarkson did not want to accept this and there was a verbal dispute with the airport employee."

Christian added that Manuel was "definitely not Argentinian" and an official from Stuttgart Airport confirmed he was Spanish.

Jeremy stirred up a diplomatic row in 2014 when he and Top Gear co-hosts James May, 53, and Richard Hammond, 46, were forced to flee Argentina while filming a Christmas special.

Grand Tour
The trio launch The Grand Tour (Brian Lawless/PA)

They had been driving around the South American country in a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some locals suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.

Christian said it is "not comprehensible" to link the 2014 incident to the reported airport debacle and added that the TV star was able to book a later flight.

He added that for the police to investigate the incident further, Jeremy or the airport employee would need to file a complaint.

Jeremy told The Sun that the comments at the airport were heard by Richard and a producer on the trio's new Amazon show, The Grand Tour, and said Manuel tried to claim the team were too drunk to board the aircraft.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May
Jeremy, Richard and James in 2007 (Steve Parsons/PA)

He told the newspaper: "The police said it was a hate crime and he would be arrested. Yes, even the Germans were 100% on our side - for once."

Jeremy went on to tell the paper the team got an easyJet flight back to Gatwick, arriving in the UK before their original flight, which had subsequently been delayed.

The TV presenter mentioned his easyJet flight in a tweet on Monday, writing: "Credit where credit is due. @easyJet first class service from Stuttgart this evening. Hannah especially."

Manuel told The Sun he is Spanish and denied swearing, adding: "I would never say such a thing. I wasn't rude. I was polite and professional."

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy was suspended and then later fired by the BBC last year (Steve Paston/PA)

A Stuttgart Airport spokesman said the incident would be investigated.

A statement read: "The ground services for the mentioned flight were operated by our partner, S Stuttgart Ground Services.

"In this case, Mr Clarkson and his team missed several calls in the lounge while the other passengers have been already boarded.

Jeremy Clarkson
Airport and police officials say Jeremy and a film crew were stopped from boarding their flight after missing several calls from the lounge (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

"Due to airline policy, after a certain time of absence the luggage will be removed from the aircraft and the missing passengers will be withdrawn from the passenger list. From this point there is no chance for boarding, even if the passengers show up.

"Nevertheless the personal behaviour of the staff member described in the article does not conform to our approach on customer service at Stuttgart Airport.

"S Stuttgart Ground Services will investigate the event with its staff. We do already know that the employee mentioned is Spanish, not Argentinian."