Former BBC Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are to be reunited in a car show that will appear on consumers’ TV and computer screens following a global deal with Amazon.
Amazon, which is increasingly investing in original TV content such as critically-acclaimed dramas ‘Transparent’ and ‘Bosch’, has beaten off competition from the likes of Netflix and ITV to clinch the trio.
The new, as-yet-unnamed show will become available exclusively to members of Amazon Prime – the premium subscription club that started life as an expedited delivery service but which now extends to offering members film, TV, book and music content.
Clarkson, who was dropped by the BBC after a fight with one of Top Gear’s producers, and his minions Hammond and May have been contracted by Amazon for an initial three seasons. They will be joined behind the scenes by Top Gear’s long-serving producer Andy Wilman.
Amazon described the agreement as a “landmark global TV deal” and said that the show would go into production soon and is scheduled to be premiered in 2016.
With a none-too-subtle dig at the BBC, Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship.”
Hammond said: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.”; while James May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”
Meanwhile, less frivolously, Jay Marine, vice-president of Amazon Prime Video EU, said: “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.”