Clarkson, Hammond & May sign up to make Roadtrip 'Specials' for two more years
As you all know by now Amazon rather quietly announced on Twitter last night that it has recommissioned 'The Grand Tour' for Series 4. The fourth series will have a new format as the tent/studio element has been dispensed with and the series will be made up entirely of road trip specials of the sort we all love, spread out over two years, at least four specials per year.
Newspaper reports last night confirmed that fans attending the tent recording on Wednesday 12th December were told that it was 'the end of an era' as far as the studio element of the show goes by an apparently emotional Jeremy Clarkson, who had some of his family in attendance along with Hammond's family.
The Sun Newspaper reports Clarkson as saying '....There are only so many times you can watch a BMW go round the track. It’s a really sad day. I will miss the banter with each other and with the audience. We all agreed that we’ve been doing it a long time and everything eventually runs its course. Besides, I’m 58 and I’m too fat to be climbing on to the stage.'
The Guardian also reports that '...Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will embark on gruelling journeys in far-flung locations' for series four, quoting Jay Marine the vice president of Prime Video, which now has 5 million users in the UK as saying 'The Grand Tour is a worldwide hit and fan favourite. We’re delighted the guys are coming back for series four.'
Some newspapers ran with the angle that after 17 years the trio were calling it a day, before admitting lower down their piece that in fact Clarkson, Hammond and May are continuing, just in a different format. The Metro is an example of a paper using that spin saying 'Clarkson quits after 17 years', it just shows you how many different perspectives the same piece of news can be covered under to get readers to click on a story!
A look at reaction on social media this morning shows an overwhelmingly positive response to the news that the show will continue, albeit in a new format. There was considerable amusement that a typo in the original Sun Newspaper report identified Jeremy Clarkson as 'she' when quoting the announcement to fans attending the tent on Wednesday, making some speculate that they'd missed another more surprising announcement....
Others were sad to see the studio element disappear, but were positive that the show will continue in a new format.
As a fan of the trio for 17 years and having been lucky enough to attend recordings at Dunsfold in the Top Gear years I can understand fans expressing disappointment that they will no longer have the chance to see a recording live. However I am just pleased that the rumours that the show would not continue in any form after S3 have proved to be false, and we can enjoy their roadtrips for two more years.
Jeremy Clarkson is also reported as saying, no doubt at least slightly tongue in cheek, 'Marvel will be jealous of our budgets' when asked whether Amazon is still willing to spend as much as per episode on the show, so we can look forward to the same great production values and spectacle of the show. Andy Wilman has renewed his agreement with Amazon too, so he’ll remain The Grand Tour’s producer going forward, with Amazon also saying that they hope to develop individual projects with Clarkson, Hammond and May in addition to 'The Grand Tour', so I think the future is as rosy as we had hoped for as fans of the trio.
What do you think? Where would you like to see them go? Are there any solo projects you'd like to see them do? Let me know in the comments below.
Please see original newspaper sources here