James May and Richard Hammond Finished Filming Last Episodes Of Top Gear
Top Gear fans anxious to see the remainder of season 22 will be happy to know that James May and Richard Hammond have reportedly finished filming all remaining segments, which means we’ll get to see the last-standing presenters in a few brand new episodes from the derailed series sometime in the future.
In case you’ve been buried underground for the last several months, the show was put on hold after presenter Jeremy Clarkson reportedly assaulted Oisin Tymon, one of the show’s producers, back in March. Clarkson was suspended and the show’s future was cast into doubt.
Whether or not May and Hammond will return to Top Gear remains uncertain, although the pair have publicly declared their intentions to leave the show without Clarkson. Despite this show of solidarity with their beleaguered co-presenter, the pair were supposedly offered £4.6 million (roughly $7 million) to continue on as a duo. Back in April, BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw said that negotiations with May and Hammond were “ongoing.”
According to the U.K.-based publication The Telegraph, bookmakers have slashed the odds of May and Hammond’s return from 5/1 to 5/4.
So far, speculation over who will take Clarkson’s place has included Guy Martin, Philip Glenister, and Jodie Kidd. There are also rumors that the BBC will employ a different host for each episode rather than a new long-term presenter.
Complicating matters even further are reports that all three original presenters have held secret meetings with competing networks, including ITV and Netflix, in preparation for a rival television motoring program. Also included in the talks was Andy Wilman, an old friend of Clarkson and former Top Gear producer who left the show following Clarkson’s dismissal.
The remaining episodes are expected to air sometime this summer. Included will be a segment on classic cars with a Fiat 124 Spyder, Peugeot 304 Cabriolet, and MGB GT, plus a segment on “lifestyle leisure enthusiasts” with a Vauxhall Frontera, a Jeep Cherokee, and a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin.
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Why it matters
The final conclusion of “Clarkson-gate"” has been the subject of a whole lot of speculation, but very few facts. Finally, it looks like that’s about to change (at least a little). While we still don’t know the eventual fate of Top Gear, Hammond, May, or Clarkson, it’s certainly a relief to hear that the last episodes of the season will finally see the light of day.
I think it’s far more likely we’ll see the trio in some new show driving the latest and greatest, going on adventures, and pulling the same adolescent pranks we’ve come to expect from the middle-aged juveniles.
The connecting portions in the studio will be sorely lacking in Clarksoness, but at least we’ll get to see new footage of all three presenters in their element prior to the punch that killed TG.
And while it’s not official, I think it’s pretty obvious that May and Hammond won’t be back for season 23. Instead, I think it’s far more likely we’ll see the trio in some new show driving the latest and greatest, going on adventures, and pulling the same adolescent pranks we’ve come to expect from the middle-aged juveniles.
Speaking of which, you can still catch all three in their live show, which was stripped of all TG and BBC affiliations post fracas-gate, and is now called simply “Clarkson, Hammond & May Live.”
Despite the lack of surface ties to the old program, the live performance still promises “amazing stunts, incredible supercars and above average levels of cocking about.” Tickets start at about $55, with dates in Belfast, Sheffield, Johannesburg, Stavanger, London, Melbourne, and Sydney still on the books.