Sunday 18 February 2018

'Top Gear' trio rev up to go head-to-head with BBC on Amazon Prime show

James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond.
James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond.

Anita Singh in London

'Top Gear's' Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will present a new car show for Amazon Prime Video after signing a "landmark global TV deal".

The programme will air next year and could go head-to-head with the BBC's revamped 'Top Gear' show, presented by Chris Evans.

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.

The Stig will not be appearing on the Amazon show. 'Top Gear's' former executive producer, Andy Wilman, is also on board - although rights to The Stig remain with the BBC version.

The deal is a coup for Amazon, although the presenters were hamstrung by the fact a clause in their old BBC contracts prevented them hosting a car show for a UK television channel for the next two years, which scuppered their plans to move to ITV. Netflix were also said to be interested in signing them, but Amazon secured their services, and three series have been confirmed so far.

Details of the trio's pay deal has not been disclosed, but Amazon said it's "a significant investment". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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