In Brief

Jeremy Clarkson's Grand Tour: Seven things to look forward to

Richard Hammond will be airlifted, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron will drop by, and the show will be more expensively produced than ever

Fans of the BBC's motoring show Top Gear in its Jeremy Clarkson days have a date in their diaries to look forward to: Clarkson's new project, The Grand Tour, starts on Amazon Prime on 18 November.

Only people who have paid the £79 annual subscription for Amazon Prime will be able to see the show. The service also includes free delivery for purchases made from the world's biggest online retailer. 

Announcing the release date earlier this month, Amazon also released a 30-second trailer.


Here are seven things for fans to look forward to in the new show:

Richard Hammond airlifted

Executive producer Andy Wilman, who moved with the three stars from Top Gear when Clarkson was fired for punching a producer, revealed a few snippets from the show at the Edinburgh TV festival last month. 

In a scene the Daily Telegraph says "drew big laughs", Hammond wakes up in a car to find it has been airlifted. Realising he is in flight, he yells: "What the f***? You bastards!"

Back-to-back hybrid supercars

A real coup for The Grand Tour, according to the Telegraph, is that it has achieved what the BBC could not for the Chris Evans-led Top Gear: persuading Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche to allow a back-to-back test of their hybrid supercars. 

The Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder are all limited-run models capable of more than 200mph - and worth a total of £2.64m.

A big, black tent

The show takes its name from the decision, apparently Clarkson's, to move around for the studio chat sequences each week. Rather than staying in a permanent studio, the three presenters are travelling with a large black tent that takes three days to erect.

With 90 per cent of the location segments already shot, they are now focusing on the tent sequences.

Matt Damon and Charlize Theron

The two Oscar-winning actors are among the A-listers set to appear on the show, The Sun reports. It's not known what the two will do on the show but their appearance is a "kick in the teeth" for Britain's national broadcaster, says the tabloid.

The BBC only "managed to attract a jumble of C-list guests" for its Clarkson-less Top Gear, the newspaper says.

New features

Fans of Top Gear stalwarts such as The Stig or Star In A Reasonably Priced Car will not find them repeated in The Grand Tour. Those elements remain copyright of the BBC and have not travelled with Clarkson to Amazon. 

Instead, there will be new games and features. But Wilman says the trademark banter will remain – under canvas – with the presenters being given "more time to yak".

The new show will be expensive and complicated

Even the most sceptical critics have been impressed by first footage from the new motoring programme.

Radio Times reporter Jonathan Holmes said clips shown at the Edinburgh International Television Festival were "impressive" and almost "breathtaking" at times. 

"Now I'm not a brilliant driver, as my numerous failed tests will attest," he told BBC Radio 5, "but there was a moment where a Maserati swept through the drawbridge of a castle where I felt like Jenson Button or similar. 

"There was a real feeling of exhilaration which I can't remember from a Top Gear episode before – which were always exciting, but there wasn't that sort of visceral feeling."

Clarkson and co are back on the road this week, tweeting they have arrived in LA and are preparing for some of the most complicated segments they have ever filmed.

The Amazon Prime show has a massive budget, many times larger than the team spent on Top Gear. Given that show made headlines for launching rocket-powered cars off ski jumps and generally engaging in expensive mayhem around the world, it will be interesting to see what Clarkson, Hammond and May do with vastly increased cash reserves.

Jimmy Carr jet-skiing

A besuited Jimmy Carr was spotted performing a stunt on a jet-ski in a sequence for the show.

The 8 Out Of 10 Cats presenter joined Clarkson, Hammond and May in Whitby as the trio brought their travelling roadshow to Yorkshire.

Carr looked "dapper" in his two-piece suit, complete with tie, the Daily Mail said. The comedian "braved the autumn weather to cruise through the chilly river for his mysterious stunt after being primed and prepped by crew members".

The filming heralded The Grand Tour's first stop in the UK. 

However, Clarkson came under fire from a Whitby local, who expressed his disappointment that he and other residents had missed out on the opportunity to see the show. 

The presenter, in typically colourful language, shot back his response.

Media watchers believe it is highly likely The Grand Tour will return to the UK again before its first season is done. And it seems equally probable that Carr won't be the last UK celebrity to appear on the show.

The show will feature 'killer' deer

In an interview with comedian Adam Carolla, the former Top Gear presenters revealed their concern that one or all of them might unexpectedly die on the show's race-track.

According to Clarkson, the location for The Grand Tour's track, which looked perfect when they first found it, has turned out to be distinctly perilous.

"All was well until the first day I went down there. It's got woods either side. Woods which are full of deer," he said.

"And so, the very first time I was hammering along the straight... in a Ferrari 488," continued the show's main host, "and all of a sudden, out came the deer.

"Now, we read all the time about deer that when you hit them, they bounce up and come in through the windscreen. And I thought, well there's the deer - we know where it is now..."

However, before he could get comfortable with the fact he was going to be able to dodge the deer, Clarkson realised there were many more where that one came from.

"There's hundreds of them," he said. "We're going to be killed by a deer before very long on that track. I can feel it coming."


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