The ex-'Top Gear' trio have a new home on Amazon Prime, and the as-yet-untitled show will be launching in 2016.
Former ‘Top Gear’ hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have finally decided where they’ll be making their new motoring show. The ex-BBC trio have signed up with Amazon’s streaming video service ‘Amazon Prime’, with the first commissioned series due in 2016.
Speculation has been rife as to where their new home would be, following their departure from the BBC Two show earlier in 2015 after Clarkson’s now-infamous ‘fracas’ in March when he assaulted one of the show’s producers. Netflix, Sky and ITV had all been touted as strong possibilities in the last few months, but the US giant appears to beaten all of them to their signatures.
Amazon UK announced the deal on its Instagram page with the hashtag #Drive2Prime, but didn’t give any further clues as to what the new show will be called (the ‘Top Gear’ copyright still remains with the BBC).
Clarkson, Hammond and May will be joining up with a growing number of original programmes being commissioned by the streaming giant, which includes a new Woody Allen TV series, the Victorian crime drama ‘Ripper Street’ and a Ridley Scott drama.
In a statement released by Amazon, Clarkson couldn’t resist a little dig at the Beeb: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.” May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?” while Hammond added: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.”
The vice-president of Amazon Prime Video in Europe, Jay Marine, also released a reaction. “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen. Millions of Prime members are already enjoying our ground-breaking original shows. We can’t wait to see what Jeremy, Richard, James and the team will create in what is sure to be one of the most globally anticipated shows of 2016.”
As for ‘Top Gear’, the BBC has announced that it will be relaunched next year in an all-new line-up fronted by Chris Evans. F1 driver Jenson Button was rumoured to be one of Evans’ co-presenters, but no further details of casting have yet been confirmed.