Saturday 24 August 2019

James May: Top Gear is 'healthy' competition for new Amazon Prime show

James May believes it will be good for the new Amazon Prime motoring show to have a credible rival in Top Gear
James May believes it will be good for the new Amazon Prime motoring show to have a credible rival in Top Gear

James May said he thinks it is "very good" this his new Amazon Prime motoring show will have a credible rival in Top Gear.

May, who along with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond has signed a deal to front the new Amazon Prime show, was of the opinion the two shows could "spur each other on."

Appearing as guest on This Morning with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the former Top Gear presenter said: "The really interesting thing about it is, I think it's going to be very healthy having two big international car programmes..."

The presenting trio are currently doing the Top Gear Live tour, which he hinted may not be their last one.

May told This Morning: "Well, let's not call it the last ever, we don't know, it is the end of the current tour, (so) it's the end of seven years of fairly constant touring.

"We've been to 32 countries and we think we've played to 2.2 million people all the way around the world... all the way to Australia and back, so that ends on Sunday night at the O2 but that's not the end of the whole thing.

"It's the end of the beginning as Churchill would have said."

Clarkson was fired from Top Gear in March this year following an altercation with producer Oisin Tymon.

May said their new show " will start roughly in the autumn of next year" and said it does not yet have a name.

"We don't know what it's called yet, we've had a lot of brainstorming sessions on names," May explained.

"It's actually very difficult to come up with a new name for something that hasn't already been bagged by someone else, unless you call your new show Shubbley-Doobley-Woobley or something like that! We genuinely haven't got a name."

Filming on the programme has started, with Clarkson tweeting a photo of the presenters, their crew, cars and trucks in October.

Amazon has refused to comment on speculation about how much the deal is worth, and all May would reveal was that their budget is "quite big".

He went on to say: "But it does cost a lot of money to make high-quality TV in exotic locations. I know everyone thinks we've been given a massive sack full of money and gone off and bought Lamborghinis and gone off for lunch but it isn't actually like that... We don't get all the money in one go and a huge, huge portion of it has to go on making the films."

"It can't be done cheaply and they want it to look brilliant and we have to pay for an office and get a pencil sharpener!"

PA Media

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