Top Gear: May says he was 'annoyed' at Clarkson being let go
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Jeremy Clarkson also claimed he was inundated with worldwide demand to take up the format before agreeing on the deal with Amazon Prime for The Grand Tour. The trio abandoned the show after Jeremy’s suspension in March 2015 before decamping to the streaming giant.
Speaking on the Andy Jaye podcast, he said it was like “luck riding into town” when he agreed to the deal with Amazon for the Grand Tour.
He said: “[I was] Devastated. It was my baby and I sort of lost it so I was very sad.
“I sort of got used to luck riding into town on a white horse shortly after bad luck and it did, and along came Jeff Bezos and off we go again.”
Mr Jaye then asked how many people had tried to secure the rights to the trio after leaving the BBC.
Jeremy added: “Russians. Qataris. Just everywhere, Lots of Americans. It’s very usual that an entire, very successful show becomes available on the free market fully formed.
“[It has] its editor, its presenters, its crews, it’s production team.”
He was suspended and then dropped by the BBC in 2015 following a “fracas” with a producer in a hotel.
On 25 March 2015, the BBC confirmed Clarkson’s contract would not be renewed but he would not be banned from featuring on the BBC.
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The decision sparked a furious online petition with more than one million fans begging the BBC to reverse the decision.
Shortly after, Richard Hammond, James May and director Andy Willman all left to rejoin Clarkson on a new project.
Speaking to Andy Jaye, Jeremy said: “Every single person decamped and said ‘we’re off’.
“It was great to see the entire team sort of saying alright we will go with poor old Jezza, well not poor old Jezza what am I on about, they all came over to Amazon.
“It was very nice, very reassuring and contributed to the immediate success of the Grand Tour because it’s not like we had to put a new team together. It was the old team.”
Clarkson’s Top gear replacement Chris Evans has previously claimed it was ”bizarre” Jeremy lost the job at the time.
During his time as host of the show he controversially called a car built in Mexico lazy and drove a car in Argentina with a “FKL” number plate.
Many Argentinians considered this a reference to the Falklands War which sparked anger.
Mr Evans has previously said: “What is more fascinating is that he went for what he went for, considering what had gone on before.
“If you look at the chronology of controversy of Top Gear over the last five or six years, it is bizarre that he went for losing his rag over his dinner when there had been international incidents before that.”
The Grand Tour returned to Amazon at Christmas with the Madagascar Special “A Massive Hunt”.
The trio has also revealed a Scottish based special is on the horizon which was filmed during coronavirus.
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