JEREMY Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are permanently parking The Grand Tour – bringing to an end two decades as Britain’s favorite petrolhead headliners.
The news comes just a week after the BBC confirmed it was axing Top Gear, the show that made them famous from 2003 to 2015.
The Grand Tour’s Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left the show
The petrolhead hosts left Top Gear in 2015 after falling out with producers Credit: BBC
The Grand Tour, which launched on Prime Video in 2016, quickly became one of the streamer’s biggest hits, but Jeremy, 63, James, 60, and Richard, 52, felt it was time to hit the road.
The streamer will consider a potential continuation of the show with new hosts – an idea that the outgoing hosts are happy with.
A TV insider said: “It’s a surprising decision and everyone understands that it pretty much marks the end of an era for the three presenters.
“The Grand Tour is one of Prime Video’s most watched shows and Jeremy, James and Richard have a loyal following.
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“But the guys didn’t despise anything due to the fact that they are all advanced in years and have a lot of other projects to deal with.
“They just felt the timing was right and wanted to play on the show’s continued popularity.”
Jeremy still has a third episode of Clarkson’s Farm to appear on Prime Video, and a fourth series could potentially be given the go-ahead after it was revealed it was the streamer’s most-watched show of the past year.
Meanwhile, James also has another of his travelogues, Our Man In…, which started in 2020, and is coming to the streamer soon.
There are two more episodes of The Grand Tour left, which you can also stream on Prime Video. Both will be out next year which will see them travel to Mauritania and Zimbabwe.
They created The Grand Tour after previously presenting Top Gear as a trio until 2015 when they left the BBC following disagreements with producers.
They transformed the program from a niche motoring show into one of the Beeb’s most popular exports, with 350 million viewers in 212 territories worldwide.
At its peak, the show had three million subscribers on YouTube, a magazine with 1.7 million readers, and in 2012 entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most watched factual TV show in the world.
The boys took that magic to The Grand Tour after landing a lucrative deal with Prime Video and playing a further 44 shows, the last of which aired in June this year.
Meanwhile, Top Gear was axed last Tuesday after Freddie Flintoff, who hosted the show alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, was implicated in the horror film during filming last year.
He reached a £9 million settlement with the makers, BBC Studios, and resumed his television career after putting it on hold while he recovered.
Last week, James May responded to the decision, saying: “I understand why it’s difficult for the creators, but I can’t believe it’s gone forever.
“I think it’s sad because I was a huge Top Gear watcher when I was a teenager in the 70s.”
A TV insider revealed that the trio made the decision because they had a lot of other projects to pursue in the sequel to Credit: The Brochure
In his column in The Sun last week, Jeremy said he believed one of the main reasons for Top Gear being axed was that Freddie did not feel he could return to the show where he had suffered a traumatic defeat.
He wrote: “I don’t blame him. I know what happened that horrible day and it was horrible. Of course, manufacturers could try to find a replacement. But would you like that gig? Really?”
But Richard and James had their own collision experiences while filming Top Gear and The Grand Tour. Jeremy said he would just wait until they recovered: “And then the show will go on.”