Bet the BBC regret not renewing Clarkson's Top Gear contract now after the seeing the show's ratings plummet.
Jeremy Clarkson's TV career was left uncertain when he was dismissed from Top Gear presenting duties by the BBC after his infamous punch-up with a producer. Of course, we now know that this was the best thing that could ever happen to the presenter. His co-hosts Hammond and May remained loyal and refused to front Top Gear without him. After a bidding war, Amazon secured the rights to a new online car show starring the trio, and The Grand Tour was born with a bigger budget while giving the presenters more creative freedom.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Amazon TV Chief Conrad Riggs has branded the BBC's decision to not renew Clarkson's contract as the "dumbest thing" the network has ever done. "It was like firing Oprah from The Oprah Winfrey Show," he told The Daily Mail. "I thought it was the dumbest thing I've ever seen a network do. It was a great opportunity for us, he's a global star." What is the secret to the show's winning formula? The personalities of Clarkson, Hammond, and May, of course. "They could probably do a show about cooking, and it would be successful as well," said Riggs. He's right, too. The trio's unique chemistry together makes them entertaining in practically any situation.
Of course, we all know the next part of the story. Top Gear was rebooted by the BBC with an expanded team of presenters fronted by Chris Evans. Turns out we weren't the only ones to hate the comeback season. "I saw the first episode of the first season. I struggled to make it through an episode," said Riggs. The Grand Tour is returning for a second season later this year, but it seems unlikely to air in October as originally intended considering Clarkson's recent health issues. Hammond's Rimac Concept One crash also delayed production. This may also explain why the show could have a major format change for season two, as studio segments may only be filmed in one location.