'The Grand Tour' Producer Reveals All About Clarkson, Hammond and May's New Show
Featured image credit: PA
Ever since the inevitable disappointment of the BBC's revamp of Top Gear, more and more excitement has been pumped into Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's new venture, The Grand Tour.
Back from a lengthy break, with Hammond this time being under the influence of a goatee, the trio have had to rebrand, rethink and create a series that's entirely different to Top Gear in order to avoid any legal pitfalls.
There were reports that they could be sued if James May says his infamous catch phrase "oh cock", and another that claimed if Clarkson said "this scenery is beautiful" in Namibia, like he did in an episode of Top Gear where they visited Botswana. To sidestep this, the presenter simply said "this scenery is shit" - clever.
Andy Wilman, producer of The Grand Tour and formerly Top Gear, has now revealed just about all there is to know regarding the new Amazon Prime show at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
Jeremy Clarkson with long-time friend and Top Gear/The Grand Tour producer Andy Wilman. Credit: BBC
The good news is that it won't just be one series of the show, as there are plans for 12 episodes to be made a year, for three years. Each episode will have a running time of an hour, with some having an increased length of 70 minutes.
Given that both Amazon and the crew creating The Grand Tour are happy to carry on making the show, their contract can be extended after the three years is up.
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"We never analysed it but something happened - people wanted to watch it all around the world," Wilman said. "So we're just crossing fingers that it'll happen again."
In a bid to make the series great, a lot of money has been spent. A while ago rumours began to circulate that Amazon had shelled out the huge amount of $250million, something that Wilman labelled as 'bollocks'.
Despite that incorrect figure, the producer did concede that his team had been 'spending a lot' of money on the show, as Amazon is demanding it be shot in 4K, the series is filmed in multiple locations, and, well, of course - cars.
"[The money] that's going out the door hand over fist because of what we have to do," the producer said. "Making a drama in 4K makes a lot of sense. Making the kind of actuality show we make, it doesn't make sense at all, but that's what we've been tasked to do."
The three presenters spotted driving a modified Mercedes, reportedly filming for their new show. Credit: SWNS
With regards to the format of the show, the producers and presenters have to make it as dissimilar to Top Gear as possible. To do so, they've obviously had to ditch The Stig, the race track, the Cool Wall, the Star in a Reasonably Price Car, the test track and the studio. However, because the camaraderie, chemistry and hilarity of the three presenters, and more importantly three friends, is still there, Wilman believes the show will be great.
He said: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know what we can't repeat from Top Gear. There's no Stig, no race track, no Dunsfold where we used to have the race track. But it does get hilarious. You get meetings where it's 'Can James May still say "Cock"?' or is the BBC going to sue?' James then says, 'I've always said cock!".
All in all, it sounds as if The Grand Tour is going to be a hell of a lot better, and a hell of a lot more successful than the Beeb's attempt to revive Top Gear, and we're certainly more excited for it.
The show is due to air on Amazon Prime this Autumn. Get your subscriptions in, lads.