Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond Reunite To Film For Live Show
At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that most (if not all) TopSpeed readers are fully informed that future episodes of Top Gear will be sadly devoid of the cheeky antics of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. However, it’s also likely there are a few TG fans out there who are completely in the dark about the trio’s live performance, dubbed “Clarkson, Hammond & May Live” after dropping all BBC associations following Clarkson’s dismissal. The three amigos were recently spotted in London filming scenes for the arena tour, and by all accounts, it looks like business as usual.
The UK-based publication Mirror is reporting that Clarkson and company looked in “high spirits” as they gallivanted about in strikingly fancy outfits for the filming, with Clarkson bearing a pink scarf, Hammond in a brown leather jacket, May wielding a machine gun, and all three wearing thick moustaches. Sounds about right.
BBC Worldwide made a statement late in March saying it would continue with the live performance “so as not to disappoint the thousands of people around the world who have already purchased tickets.” However, several of the original dates have been changed.
CH&M Live is a worldwide tour that promises “amazing stunts, incredible supercars and above average levels of cocking about.” Upcoming venues include appearances in Belfast, Sheffield, Johannesburg, Stavanger, London, Melbourne, and Sydney. Sadly, no U.S. venues are on the schedule as of yet. Tickets start at £35 ($54 at current conversion rates, 5/8/15), with £95 ($147) asked for the front row.
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Why it matters
If I had 50 bucks to spare and lived near one of the above-listed cities, you could bet I’d be snagging a ticket. Unfortunately, I’m relegated to reruns and a whirlwind of TG speculation.
Speaking of which, the BBC is reportedly looking into replacement hosts, unwilling to cancel the show after nearly 22 full seasons of factual reporting and high-horsepower goodness. Current front-runners include Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin, and the show’s return is expected next spring at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Jezza is talking about a new “baby” and tweeting out pics of a Z06 Vette on a race track next to a video camera. Hammond and May both need jobs, while TG executive producer and longtime Clarkson comrade Andy Wilman quit around the same time Clarkson was sacked. There are also reports that CH&M (plus Wilman) conducted a secret meeting with ITV entertainment boss Elaine Bedell, another former associate of Clarkson.
Maybe the one-time TG orangutan’s firing was all for the best? (Sorry, Oisin. I hope your mouth is feeling better.)
Think of it this way – Clarkson, Hammond and May shuck the shackles of BBC employment, and freed from the restraints of the behemoth (and at times, draconian) network, they set out to create their own car show, producing something even more absurd in the process. Conversely, the old TG gets new hosts and a new lease on life, providing a breath of fresh air to a series that some might have seen as growing a bit stale over the years. The result is two shows instead of one, with all the old shenanigans and tons of new stuff to boot.
Maybe the fans win after all?