James May will be a massive loss to TV as he's admitted 'retirement isn't far off'
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James May (or may not) be ready for retirement pretty damn soon.
And while it's inevitable that stars should want to step down from their roles as they enter their winter years in life, there's no denying what a massive loss to TV it will be when that day comes.
Yesterday (16 January), the Top Gear legend celebrated his 60th, taking to Twitter to thank fans for their well wishes on the milestone birthday.
"I have successfully applied for my over-60s bus and tube pass," he quipped. "Pretty impressive, old person using the internet, etc etc."
Joking aside, May did express earlier last year that after wrapping up filming his Amazon Prime show Our Man in Italy and following the death of a close friend, he’s contemplating a slower way of life.
In an interview with the Radio Times, he said: "I don’t know if it’s because I had a nice time in Italy, or because I’m getting older, or because I’m sick of admin.
"A very close friend of mine died a few weeks ago. He retired early, because he’d always had this fear that his family isn’t very long-lived, and he wanted to swap possessions for experiences and knowledge.
"That’s what he started doing, but unfortunately he got cancer and it killed him.
"It was quite interesting thinking about that after he’d gone because it takes a certain amount of courage to say, 'No, I don’t want to telegraph my success and my sophistication. I simply want to have a nice life and contemplate the mystery and wonder of God’s creation'."
When asked if that meant he’s considering selling his cars and retiring, he replied: "It’s something I’m quietly contemplating, and I suspect it’s not far off."
Obviously should this day come, there's no denying how missed May would be, having been such a reliable (and hilarious) fixture of British telly.
Most notably, he was the nicest of the Top Gear trio, having co-presented the long-running car show alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard 'The Hamster' Hammond.
His certainly made his mark in the legacy of the show before the three were snapped up by Amazon Prime, not least because of his sense of humour.
Who can forget the time he and Clarkson attempted to become the first people to reach the 1996 position of the North Magnetic Pole in Canada in a motor vehicle.
On top of that, May indulged in a bit of toilet humour - quite literally, when he sat on the loo fixed to the back of a Toyota Hilux as Clarkson drove it along in the snow.
Then there's his ongoing love/hate relationship with the Volkswagen Beetle, having previously said on the show that the 'best news' he'd ever heard was the fact that 'they're going to stop making' the car.
But best of all were his reasons for hating the model so much: a) because it's a 'rubbish car' and b) because the idea was stolen by Hitler.
Alongside his unique asides, May's not afraid of bantering Clarkson on behalf of the entire British public.
And that includes on Clarkson's birthday several years back, when he cheekily added 100 years to his age while calling on everyone to tell the host to 'sod off'.
Typically, May's earned himself the reputation of playing it safe compared to his two pals - he didn't earn the nickname 'Captain Slow' for nothing.
But this all changed with the recent The Grand Tour presents: A Scandi Flick, which sees him in numerous scrapes in the newly-released edition of the show.
Undoubtedly, the standout moment comes when May brutally smashes into a wall during a challenge, causing him to suffer a broken rib.
Thankfully he was fine, although it's not all that surprising that he's considering slowing down in his old age.
But there's absolutely no doubt that if he does ever decide to hang up his driving boots, he'll be sorely missed.