James May 'always assumed he'd be dead by now' as he faces reality of turning 60 years old
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James May has admitted that he never expected to find himself in the position where he’s turning 60, even though that’s exactly the position that found himself in earlier this year.
Clearly, the former Top Gear and The Grand Tour host has his tongue firmly in his cheek - as per usual - but he admitted in a recent interview with The Telegraph that he thought he’d die in some sort of motoring accident, rather than living out his days in relative peace.
During his years presenting car shows, as well as other shows that involved lots of heavy machinery, he’s certainly given himself plenty of opportunity to go the other way.
Still, May - who was nicknamed ‘Captain Slow’ by his co-presenters because of his cautious driving style - always seemed less likely than Hammond or Jeremy Clarkson to get into trouble.
Now, having celebrated his 60th birthday in January, he’s getting all reflective.
May said: “I turned 60 this year.
“I remember watching my parents grow old and reach the stage where their world had shrunk so much, the only thing they really thought or cared about was their next meal.
“That will be me any day.
“It’s happening already. I’ve got all ‘nesty’, and I actually like being at home and pottering about.
“I always assumed I’d be dead by now and that it would be instantaneous, apart from a few seconds of terrified screaming as I plunged off a cliff at high speed.
“But here I am, falling apart slowly like everyone else.”
There’s clearly a lot more for May to get stuck into, with a children’s book written, as well as several TV shows in the works.
The Grand Tour might not end up continuing on for much longer though, after Clarkson was rumoured to be in Amazon’s bad books after an article he wrote about Meghan Markle.
On that front, May expanded: “We’re signed up for a certain number of specials, and we’re doing those.
“I honestly don’t know what will happen beyond that, because nobody tells me.
“It’s not like scheduling on terrestrial TV. Amazon can just drop a special when they like.”
As for the trio’s famous dynamic, May said: “Jeremy is an a***.
“So is Hammond, in a different sort of way, but the argumentative, mucking about, three’s-a-crowd, conforming-to-every-stereotype dynamic makes for great telly.
“Is The Grand Tour a car show?
“It’s not the show to go for if you want to buy a new estate for the school run.
“I see it more as a confluence of sitcom and Greek tragedy.”
Going forward into the future, May admitted that eventually - whether they get cancelled or not - age will catch up with them, and things will inevitably come to an end for the boys.
“Nobody’s been cancelled or burned at the stake,” he said.
“The truth is, we’re a bit too old for all this now.
“Jeremy is 63, Hammond is 53.
“We’ll have to stop one day and by my reckoning that terrible day is almost upon us.”