James May drops hint about presenting future with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond

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James May has suggested that he would be open to presenting a new programme with his regular co-stars Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, after the trio’s former show Top Gear was paused indefinitely.

The BBC said in November that the hit motoring series would be off air for “the forseeable future” in the wake of a crash that seriously injured host Freddie Flintoff.

Meanwhile Clarkson, Hammond and May are due to leave their Amazon Prime Video series, The Grand Tour, after a “final special” airs in 2024.

“I do think that despite us obviously coming to the end of our time doing this and the cancellation of Top Gear, there has never been a better time (for a car show),” May told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Things like the future of autonomous cars, new means of powering cars, a change of general attitudes towards cars and driving, there’s never been a better time for a car show. And the car show itself requires reinvention.”

May, who hosted Top Gear with Clarkson and Hammond for 12 years until 2016, confirmed that he and his co-stars had filmed the last episode “for now” of The Grand Tour.

“I suppose that makes me technically unemployed,” he said. “I can hear the cheers rolling around the country.

“We’ve got two in the bag, though. So there’s one coming up very soon. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say here. And then another one coming out a bit after that. But what happens between now and then we’ll have to see.”

Hammond, Clarkson and May are wrapping up their Amazon Prime show ‘The Grand Tour’ next year (PA)
Hammond, Clarkson and May are wrapping up their Amazon Prime show ‘The Grand Tour’ next year (PA)

May said the “brutal truth” was that he couldn’t confirm whether the trio would be reunited on another project: “I don’t know yet. But I do still speak to them.”

“It depends what it was,” he continued. “I wouldn’t rule it out, but you do have to bear in mind that we’re all getting on a bit. And we have been doing it for 20 years plus, and I don’t think any of us ever thought it would last that long.”

Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond (PA)
Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond (PA)

Clarkson announced the end of The Grand Tour in November, after five series and various special episodes.

He and his co-presenters were snapped up by Amazon’s streaming service in 2015, after Clarkson was dropped following an infamous “fracas” with a producer.

May has previously said he believes that Top Gear needs a “rethink” before it returns to the BBC.

Production on the show has been halted since host the former England cricket captain, 45, was taken to hospital in December 2022 after he was badly hurt in a crash at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

“There must be another way of doing a show about cars that will perhaps embrace more fulsomely many of the questions that are being asked about cars that weren’t being asked for a long time,” May said.

In the same interview, he criticised fans who had apparently been asking if he, Clarkson and Hammond would return to Top Gear after Flintoff’s crash.