Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to quit car shows

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to quit studio car shows after third series of The Grand Tour… as they prepare for stand-alone specials with a ‘Hollywood budget’

An emotional Jeremy Clarkson has revealed he will walk away from the studio car shows that helped turn him into a household name following the third series of The Grand Tour.

The outspoken presenter, 58, will give up on the traditional format employed by the hugely popular Amazon show and long-running BBC flagship Top Gear after more than 17-years. 

Addressing the studio audience while filming the final episode of The Grand Tour’s third series – which will launch on January 18 – Clarkson revealed co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May will follow him through the exit. 

All over: An emotional Jeremy Clarkson has revealed he will walk away from the studio car shows that helped turn him into a household name following the third series of The Grand Tour

‘It’s the end of an era,’ he announced. ‘There are only so many times you can watch a BMW go round the track.’ 


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Insiders claimed the presenter looked close to tears as he broke the news to the studio audience while filming his final scenes in a tent in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.  

It’s understood that Clarkson’s girlfriend Lisa Hogan and daughters Emily and Katya were in the audience to watch him say his goodbyes, along with Hammond’s wife Mindy and their two children, Willow and Isabella. 

Moving on: The outspoken presenter, 58, will give up on the traditional format employed by the hugely popular Amazon show and long-running BBC flagship Top Gear after more than 17-years

An audience member told The Sun: ‘They ran through the show as normal, but I noticed that Clarkson and Hammond had their families in the audience.

‘Clarkson’s girlfriend and two daughters were there, plus Hammond’s wife and daughters. When they got to the end of the show, I noticed that most of the family members were in tears.’ 

The episode wound down with Clarkson, Hammond and May engaging in their usual brand of laddish banter before ending with a montage of clips dating back to their days on Top Gear. 

Old friends: Clarkson revealed co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May will follow him through the exit as they prepare for a series of big-budget specials 

The audience member added that Clarkson signed off with the words ‘it’s a sad day’ before departing the stage, leaving the studio audience in a state of stunned silence. 

‘It’s a really sad day,’ Clarkson later told The Sun. ‘I will miss the banter with each other and with the audience. But we’ve been doing that show for effectively 17 years — sitting around in studios, watching cars race around the track.’  

He added: ‘We all agreed that we’ve been doing it a long time and everything eventually runs its course. Besides, I’m 58 and I’m too fat to be climbing on to the stage.’ 

Exciting times: All three have reportedly signed a new two-year deal with Amazon that is expected to yield as many as four stand alone show a year, with the presenters travelling to far flung parts of the world in scenes not dissimilar to their globe-trotting adventures on Top Gear

Clarkson, Hammond and May will now focus on a series of extravagant, big-budget specials over the next two years that will take them away from their usual studio environment. 

All three have reportedly signed a new two-year deal with Amazon that is expected to yield as many as four stand alone show a year, with the presenters travelling to far flung parts of the world in scenes not dissimilar to their globe-trotting adventures on Top Gear. 

And fans can expect no-holds barred excitement when the specials do eventually air, with Clarkson claiming they have been given a huge budget to rival the Marvel film franchise. 

Thrills: Fans can expect no-holds barred excitement when the specials do eventually air, with Clarkson claiming they have been given a huge budget to rival the Marvel film franchise

Clarkson and Hammond helped turn Top Gear into a global brand after reviving the show in 2002, with May making his first appearance three years later. 

The three friends would go onto present the show for a further ten-years before Clarkson was acrimoniously sacked in 2015 following a physical altercation with a show producer. 

Hammond and May followed him through the exit, with all three signing lucrative contracts with Amazon Prime to develop rival show The Grand Tour. 

To date the show has been a huge success, with the ambitious opening scene of its very first episode costing £2.5million – making it the most expensive in TV history. 

 

 

 

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