The Grand Tour

James May, Richard Hammond & Jeremy Clarkson are going to take on Top Gear this Autumn with the release of their new rival show; The Grand Tour.

The trio will continue to test the latest super-cars on their show with its name based primarily on the fact that they will be travelling the world & each episode will be filmed in a different country.

It was back in July 2015 that the three signed with Amazon Prime, the popular online streaming service, once the BBC confirmed that they would not renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract due to previous conflict with a producer.

Up until now there have been very few details about the trios new show, but now we have started to see some emerge.

Some fans may be a little disheartened by the shows name as it was rumoured that ‘House of Cars’ could have been an option if Netflix were to run the show. Gear knobs or dipsticks were also thrown about the media by speculators. Back in October 2015, Clarkson responded to these comments via Twitter stating “I see that many people think our new show is called Gear Knobs. Well you heard it here first. It isn’t.”

When announcing the name of the show, Clarkson said: “We’ll be travelling the world hosting each episode in a different country, from a giant tent. It’s a sort of “grand tour”, if you like. So we’ve decided to call it ‘The Grand Tour’.”

James May wasn’t thrilled about the new name “I wanted to call it ‘Nigel’, or ‘Roger’. We needed a name, and they’re names.”

In one of his columns for the Sunday Times, Clarkson revealed that the team continued to draft up names for the show but kept having them rejected by Clarkson’s lawyers; “I spend at least six hours a day in my office — which is insured and smoke-free and resplendent with potted plants — sucking creatively on a corporate Biro as I wait for the daily 3pm ‘Anything yet?’ phone call from Amazon in Los Angeles.

Clarkson also admitted that “Every morning, I’d make a £7000 call to the lawyer with an idea, and every afternoon I’d get a £7000 reply saying it was already in use by someone in New Zealand or France or Ukraine.” He later went on to explain in the same column that ‘Gear Knobs’ was actually in the running at one stage. “We thought it was amusing and hurriedly we put in another £7,000 call to the lawyer,” he said. “She said the trademark was available, but it would be an unwise idea, owing to the laws surrounding intellectual property. In short, the BBC not only owns the rights to the Stig and the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car and the Cool Wall, but also to any name that is remotely similar to Top Gear.”

Vice President of Amazon Video Europe, Jay Marine, said: “After nine months of deep thought, debate and deliberation, the guys have come up with a name that reflects the global ambition of the new show. The Grand Tour will be one of the most anticipated TV launches ever, and we’re excited to be bringing it to Amazon Prime customers around the world this autumn.”

Clarkson, Hammond & May have so far signed up for 3 series of the show, each with 12, hour long, episodes. Ofcourse you will have to be singed up to Amazons Prime streaming service which costs £79 per year. Amazon have also unveiled that prize draws will happen this summer for tickets to be in the audience of The Grand Tour. Fans can also follow The Grand Tour on their social media pages; Facebook and Twitter.

Although many viewers of streaming services can have a habit of ‘binge-watching’ their favourite shows The Grand Tour is going down the traditional once-a-week schedule to suit the original Top Gear’s BBC Two viewers. Similarities will also shine through with the shows format of both studio-based chat and international adventure.

Andy Wilman (front) with Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson & James May

Andy Wilman, the former Top Gear Executive Producer, has joined the trio in the move across to Amazon for the new show and thinks the trios friendship will play a central element.

The Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 & Porsche 918, three of the latest hybrid hyper-cars, will be compared by the trio in The Grand Tours opening episode.

The Ferrari LaFerrari

Previously, Clarkson has driven the P1, May has tried the LaFerrari and Hammonds tested the 918 but this is the first time that they have had the opportunity to test the cars back-to-back as the BBC failed to get Ferrari, McLaren & Porsche to agree to a full comparison show.

The McLaren P1

The Ferrari is the most expensive of the three costing £1.15 million while the McLaren is £866,000 and the Porsche is £625,000.

The Porsche 918

It wont just be super-cars that the trio try and test, there will also be episodes featuring three-wheeled Reliants.

Different racing circuits are to be used including the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal.

The Grand Tour has a budget of £160 million however Clarksons salary hasnt been revealed.

If you do the maths, thats a £4.5 million budget per show which is quadruple the budget of Top Gear when Clarkson, Hammond & May were in the driver seats.

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