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Jeremy Clarkson had controversial joke planned with Top Gear presenters if one of them died in a car accident

Claire Reid

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Jeremy Clarkson had controversial joke planned with Top Gear presenters if one of them died in a car accident

Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond had a controversial joke planned in case any of them ever died during filming.

The hosting trio, who went on to front The Grand Tour, have got themselves into a few scrapes over the years - most notably Hammond’s 2006 high-speed crash that left him with serious injuries.

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But they vowed not to be too serious on TV if the worst happened and even had a tongue-in-cheek joke planned just in case.

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Back in 2006, Hammond appeared on the now-retired BBC show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, where he, of course, talked about Top Gear, which was in its heyday at the time.

Ross started the conversation by saying he read somewhere that the trio had 'a pact' if one of the three were to die in a car accident while filming for Top Gear.

And if that were to happen, it turns out there was a pretty set way that the remaining co-hosts would have addressed it on the show.

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond had a joke planned in case one of them died during filming. Credit: Amazon Prime
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond had a joke planned in case one of them died during filming. Credit: Amazon Prime
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Hammond said: "Should one of us croak [die], Jeremy or whichever one is left would stand there and go 'Last week, Jeremy, James or Richard was tragically killed'.

"The next word - this was the agreement - has to be 'anyway'."

He then said that the line had to be delivered in a certain way, before joking that the remaining presenters would move straight back to talking about cars.

The former Top Gear presenter said there was a 'sense of genuine disappointment' that the joke never got to see the light of day.

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In 2006, Hammond was placed in a coma for two weeks after he crashed in a jet-powered car at almost 320mph during a run at the RAF Elvington airbase in York.

At the time, it was feared that he wouldn't make it but Hammond made a miraculous recovery and returned to the show in 2007.

The trio have presented Top Gear and The Grand Tour. Credit: Prime Video
The trio have presented Top Gear and The Grand Tour. Credit: Prime Video

In February, Hammond spoke about his health scares after the accident, telling the Diary of a CEO podcast that he could have an 'increased risk' of memory loss.

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He said: "I have to consciously write memories down and work hard to recall them sometimes.

"It might be because I'm 53, it might be because I'm working a lot and I'm tired, it might be the onset of something else."

May also had a terrifying crash during filming for The Grand Tour's 'A Scandi Flick' special but managed to come away pretty unscathed.

Speaking to the Radio Times, he opened up about the incident, saying: "It was very brief.

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"Made a loud bang. It wasn't really that terrible, I don't think.

"It looks quite dramatic but I was basically OK."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Jeremy Clarkson, TV and Film, Top Gear

Claire Reid
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