- Andy WIlman Executive Producer of The Grand Tour (Photo via PHD Worldwide)

Andy Wilman talks Top Gear, The Grand Tour and Drive Tribe

Interviewed at PandaConf Web Summit 2018 earlier this month

2y ago

If you know anything about Top Gear and The Grand Tour you know who Andy Wilman is. The Executive Producer of Clarkson, Hammond and May era Top Gear, he was hugely influential in its development and has continued that role on The Grand Tour.

Andy recently attended the PandaConf Web Summit 2018 held in Lisbon, where he was interviewed by Mike Cooper CEO of PHD Worldwide about the development of the Grand Tour out of the end of Top Gear and also about Drive Tribe.

Andy WIlman talks about how The Grand Tour evolved from Top Gear (Photo via PHD Worldwide)

Andy WIlman talks about how The Grand Tour evolved from Top Gear (Photo via PHD Worldwide)

Top Gear

The interview begins with a brief outline of how Jeremy Clarkson and Andy Wilman revamped the Top Gear format from 2002 onwards. Wilman talks about the organic and often accidental development of features that were to become key to the format, such as the silent racing driver and longer special episodes.

Andy WIlman talks about how The Grand Tour evolved from Top Gear (Photo via PHD Worldwide)

Andy WIlman talks about how The Grand Tour evolved from Top Gear (Photo via PHD Worldwide)

The birth of The Grand Tour

Cooper and Wilman then move on to discuss the birth of The Grand Tour from the ashes of Clarkson, Hammond and May era Top Gear, and the challenges and benefits of moving away from a terrestrial TV base to a new platform. Andy talks about the need for editorial freedom being key to the choice of a streaming platform and then specifically in going to Amazon.

Image via PHD Worldwide

Image via PHD Worldwide

Cooper and WIlman also talk about the development of The Grand Tour Game, which will be available to play the day after each episode in S3 is shown, giving the viewer an extra level of engagement with the show content.

Drive Tribe

Drive Tribe is not forgotten in the interview. Wilman discusses how originally they thought of a Clarkson, Hammond and May website and then the idea of Drive Tribe, with content creators and interest groups, came out of wanting to make something more than just that.

Here's the interview

Enough of my synopsis of the interview, you'll want to watch Andy talking about these subjects in more detail, so here is the interview. It is occasionally interrupted by adverts as these things often are, but you can skip over them.

What was most interesting for you? What do you want from S3 of The Grand Tour? Are you looking forward to being able to 'game' the show, or does that not interest you? Let me know what you think on those and any other points covered in the interview in the comments below.

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Comments (5)

  • Thanks for posting this. Andy’s quite succinct account of Top Gear’s genesis effectively describes why the show was so good, and why it’s so pointless to imitate. Organic evolution + talent + creative vision - bureaucratic interference = magic. Usually. Attempts to imitate never have that same equation completely. Magic cannot be manufactured; commercial success, maybe, but not magic. It’s why I hate “American” Top Gear, and it’s the same reason movie sequels are usually terrible. Even GT isn’t as good, they’re kind of imitating themselves. But it’s still the best thing on TV for me and I’ll watch it if they do 20 seasons, ‘cause I’m hooked on those three dummies.

      2 years ago
  • Whenever I hear someone talking about Drivetribe, I'm going like "Oh look, that's us!!” So great to have the opportunity of being part of this.

      2 years ago
  • Loved this,Jane!,Thank you so very much for posting.as Victoria said if anyone mentions D.T,I think’i am a member of that!!!,WOW,just amazing’!Andy was lovely!,Great to hear how the Grand Tour came into being and,of course,Top Gear!♥️😊XX

      2 years ago