Jeremy Clarkson confirms he will host a new car show and will be joined by former ‘Top Gear’ mates
Clarkson, Hammond, and May are back.
Jeremy Clarkson has confirmed to the Sunday Times that he will return to TV with a new car show.
Joining the bombastic Brit on the new show will be his former “Top Gear” cohosts Richard Hammond and James May.
Though the publication reports that an announcement is expected in a matter of weeks, the exact network on which the show will air has yet to be confirmed.
Sources told the Daily Mirror’s Nigel Pauley, however, that the ex-“Top Gear” trio — along with former showrunner Andy Wilman — were “very close” to a deal with Netflix.
In recent weeks, the foursome has held meetings with numerous potential suitors including the British broadcaster ITV. But Netflix seems to have come out on top.
This development comes on the heels of the BBC’s introduction of radio DJ Chris Evans as the new front man for “Top Gear.” As a result, the 23rd season of the “Top Gear” will most likely feature a lineup of all-new hosts and be the first to not feature Jeremy Clarkson since 2000.
Netflix, the American online media-streaming service, is home to such award-winning original programming as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.”
According to the Sunday Times, the new Clarkson-fronted car show will probably debut sometime after next March.
The 22nd season of “Top Gear” ended abruptly in March after only seven of the nine planned episodes had aired because of the suspension and subsequent dismissal of Clarkson.
Hammond and May followed Clarkson out the door by voluntarily declining to renew their respective BBC contracts, which expired in April. Wilman — longtime executive producer and close friend of Clarkson — also left the BBC after the host’s dismissal.
The network’s decision to part ways with the polarizing TV personality came after an internal BBC inquiry found Clarkson had punched a “Top Gear” producer when he failed to obtain a hot steak dinner after a long day of filming.
The fracas with the producer came after a controversy-filled 2014 for Clarkson, who was mired in scandal stemming from accusations of racist, sexist, and culturally insensitive comments.
Prior to his dismissal, Clarkson had spent nearly three decades with the BBC as a host on “Top Gear” and is credited with being the driving force behind the show’s explosive international success.
With more than 350 million weekly viewers, “Top Gear” set the Guinness World Record as the most watched factual TV program in the world. In addition to the UK show, the “Top Gear” brand includes numerous international spinoffs, a live stadium tour, merchandising, a successful magazine, and a website.