Top Gear: Clarkson, Hammond and May 'blocked from ITV show by BBC contracts'
Clause in the former Top Gear presenter's old contracts blocks them from hosting a car show on a UK channel for two years, according to reports
JEREMY Clarkson's hopes of presenting an ITV rival to Top Gear with Richard Hammond and James May have been thwarted by a clause in their old BBC contracts, it has been reported.
The trio have been approached to make a car show for ITV. But a clause in their old contracts is said to block them from hosting a car show on a UK channel for two years.
They are now faced with a choice: wait until April 2017 or sign a deal with a non-UK broadcaster, such as Netflix.
"Basically they could make a show for ITV, but not one about cars," a source told the Daily Mirror.
"It means Netflix or Amazon are favourites to sign up the team. There is a feeling that if they wait two years it gives Chris Evans a chance to steal a march on them and get his new Top Gear show up and running, which means he would be settled in by then.
"It's a difficult decision but they hope to make up their minds soon after a number of meetings. ITV have made them a great offer."
Last month, Clarkson also said he had been negotiating with television executives in the US.
Top Gear will continue on the BBC with Chris Evans as main presenter.
Writing at the weekend, Evans said the social media response to his appointment had been vicious. "But hey, it's a free country, thank God, and seeing as I grew up with ginger hair and National Health lasses, abuse is not really a dealbreaker for me," he said.
"The point is, what has always been the nation's favourite car show is definitely coming back as Top Gear next March, regardless. That's it. End of. Job done. Contracts signed.
"We may lose some viewers, we may gain some. We shall see. But the one thing I can promise is that we are going to pull out all the stops to catapult the show into the future and not allow it to be bullied into the corner, cowering in the past."