Update 7/31/15: According to an article published by Mirror.co.uk today, Amazon paid £160 million (approx. $250 million USD) for the Top Gear trio.
It’s an announcement the enthusiast community worldwide has been waiting for anxiously since the BBC cut ties with Jeremy Clarkson, and today it came: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are returning to host another show for petrolheads.
The story first broke in The London Evening Standard and social media feeds this morning, as well as on Amazon Prime’s website. After Amazon Instant Video shared a Tweet at 5:53 EST this morning, Clarkson was the next to hit Twitter with the announcement, then May, then Hammond. A post to the Amazon Instant Video UK’s Facebook page told viewers, “Get your engines revving. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are back on the track in 2016! #OnlyOnAmazonPrime #Drive2Prime.”
I’m very excited to announce that Hammond, May and I have signed a deal with .@AmazonVideo
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 30, 2015
Set to begin production imminently and begin airing in 2016, the show will be exclusively available to Amazon Prime customers, and promises to give full creative control to the team and their long time producer Andy Wilman.
I’ve got a job I’ve got a job I’ve got a job. Haircut, clean jeans and practice driving again. Forrrrwaaaaaaaard!! — Richard Hammond (@RichardHammond) July 30, 2015
“As well as the substantial financial rewards on offer, the three are said to have been attracted by a pledge by Amazon to give them a free creative rein to make the shows they want,” describes the Evening Standard’s article announcing their return. While undoubtedly bound to create some amazing shows, that level of freedom could make for some more controversial statements from Clarkson.
— James May (@MrJamesMay) July 30, 2015
On June 16, it was announced that radio host Chris Evans would be taking over the original BBC show after Clarkson’s dismissal following a “fracas” with a producer. As an April 7 BBC article covered, the producer, Oisin Tymon, suffered a split lip after Clarkson returned from a day of filming and was reportedly upset that no hot food was available.
With two new versions of Top Gear emerging in 2016, it will be interesting to see which manages to capture more viewers – the old TV format with a new host, or the old TV hosts with a new digital format.
Stay with us for more news as it is released.
(Source: The London Evening Standard, Facebook, Twitter, BBC News)