Friday 30 September 2016

Top Gear trio’s new Amazon show bags a whopping €227m budget

Published 07/08/2015 | 14:55

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May in the final ‘Top Gear’ show featuring the three presenters
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May in the final ‘Top Gear’ show featuring the three presenters

Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have reportedly bagged themselves a whopping £160m (€227m) budget for their new show.

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The former Top Gear trio will front the new show on Amazon Prime across three series and the budget makes it one of the most expensive TV shows in the UK.

Producer Andy Willman told Broadcast, "It was very parochial the way this whole thing started.  It's not our forte doing deals.  We're all crap at business".

What they did know, he said, was that they wanted free rein editorially, lots of cash, and no car ads.

Of their decision to join Amazon, he said, "Every one we have talked to has told us: 'They leave you alone to make your show'. That's a big one for us - we don't like interference, we don't need to be policed."

The programme will run 36 hour long episodes  over three series and will be broadcast weekly from autumn 2016.

A clause in the three presenters' contracts with the BBC reportedly stated they could not present another car show on terrestrial TV for another two years, which would have scuppered any plans to move to ITV.

They seem excited about the move to Amazon, if not a little daunted.  Clarkson changed his Twitter bio to "I am a presenter on an Amazon motoring show", and said of the move away from terrestrial television: "I feel like I've climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship."

May added: "We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn't it?"

Hammond joked: "Amazon? Oh, yes. I've already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant."

Watching the show will require fans to sign up to Amazon's £79-per-year (€112) streaming service.

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