Clarkson Reflects On Struggles Of Making The Grand Tour Season 2

Motoring TV

You'll get to see Hammond's Rimac crash in the first episode of the new season.

When you hear about all the hardship the team experienced during the production of The Grand Tour season 2, it's surprising that the show's start date has been delayed by only three weeks. In a recent column for The Times, Jeremy Clarkson has provided a revealing behind the scenes insight into the making of the show and the numerous challenges the trio faced. Hammond's crash in the Rimac Concept One was of course well publicized, but it's easy to forget that all three presenters were hospitalized during production.

Clarkson was diagnosed with pneumonia while James May also suffered a stomach virus. "He can't see over the steering wheel," Clarkson joked when asked why Hammond is so accident-prone having survived two near-fatal crashes in Top Gear and The Grand Tour. "It is astonishing that all three of us had been confined to hospital beds in the space of six months. Except of course it isn't astonishing because we are now very old and starting to disintegrate," he added. Despite these setbacks, the team were still under enormous pressure to deliver the show on time. "I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with corporate America but it doesn’t really understand the concept of 'a missed deadline'", he said.

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You think 'failure is not an option' is a Hollywood cliche. But actually in California, it's a business mantra." Amazon was still insisting that the show needed to air on its original date, but eventually relented and allowed the team some extra time. "Despite the extra time, flat out doesn't begin to cover the way we are working now," he wrote. Terminal 5 is where I live now as I race from New York to Toronto." The team's hard work seems to have paid off though, as the films teased in the first season two trailer look spectacular. "We’ve driven three old Jaguars down various ski runs — some of them black — at the Telluride resort in Colorado," he teased.

I’ve done 400 miles, on the road, in the new Ford GT while racing James and a wheelchair-bound Richard in a plane. We have attempted to end world hunger by setting up a fish transportation business in Mozambique, and I’ve thundered round our track in Wiltshire in everything from a Jaguar XJ220 to a Tesla Model X. I’ve done a Ken Block-style video, remade the infamous 1976 film Rendezvous in a Bugatti Chiron and while James turned a Lada into a fire engine, I went road racing in an Audi TT RS in Croatia." Clarkson also conceded that some aspects of the show in season one didn't work: namely Celebrity Brain Crash and The American which we already know are being replaced.

Then there's our tent studio," he added. "We all know certain things didn't work in the last run, so they've gone and in their place will be exciting new stuff. All of which will be announced just as soon as I've thought of it." Replacing Celebrity Brain Crash is a new segment called 'Celebrity Face Off,' in which two celebrities that are connected to each other in an unusual way are pitted against each other to set the fastest time around the Eboladrome track. Guests in season two include Luke Evans, Kiefer Sutherland, Hugh Bonneville, Kevin Pietersen, Dominic Cooper, Dynamo, Rory Mcllroy, Michael Ball, Alfie Boe and more.

Episode one will pit America's Got Talent judge David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff against Ricky Wilson from The Voice UK. “I’m basically an actor, I’m not really a good driver but I just look good doing it” said The Hoff. Ricky Wilson added: “I’m fiercely competitive and whilst I don’t know the results yet, it’s ok if Hasselhoff beats me because he’s my hero! I really enjoyed it and I hope it looks as good on TV as it felt being in the car.” As for Hammond's Rimac Concept One crash, we'll get to see that in the first episode of season 2 which airs on December 8. The opening episode of the last season was one of the best in the series featuring a test of the hypercar holy trinity so we have high hopes for season two's opener.

Season two will begin with a comparison between the naturally aspirated Lamborghini Aventador S, hybrid Acura NSX, and all-electric Rimac Concept One at a hillclimb in Switzerland, each representing the past, present and future of supercars - but we all know how it ends.

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