One of the issues: James May saying the word "c*ck."
When Jeremy Clarkson was fired from “Top Gear” he took three people with him. James May and Richard Hammond are the two you know but Andy Wilman is a person you might not be so familiar with. Wilman was an executive producer on “Top Gear” and is now a producer on “The Grand Tour." While Wilman isn’t in front of the camera cracking jokes he has proven to be an interesting interview in the past. The Telegraph spoke with him recently where it learned that the BBC gave Amazon a hell of a time during filming.
At issue was intellectual property, with the Beebs wanting to ensure that stuff from “Top Gear” wasn’t lifted for use in “The Grand Tour.” That’s fair enough but apparently the network got a bit out of control. Some of the things at issue included: James May saying “cock” (seriously), handwritten lap times, calling a news segment “the news” and even describing Namibia as “beautiful.” We’ll let Wilman explain that last one. “We went to Namibia to make a big film. The lawyers got out a film we had done [for Top Gear] in Botswana. The lawyers go through everything and they said, ‘There’s a scene in [Top Gear] where you’re in the middle of the Okavango and you go, “This scenery is beautiful,” so watch that you don’t do that’.”
“So we were in the desert in Namibia and we had to go, ‘for legal reasons, this scenery is shit’.” If true this legal wrangling is ridiculous, especially since the BBC fired Clarkson. Wilman went on to say that the trio had a “broken relationship” with the network. There’s a good chance said broken relationship (and Clarkson’s previous transgressions) made it easier to fire him. So far the BBC is looking like the loser here. “Top Gear” is in shambles one season after Clarkson’s departure and now Wilman is speaking out about the network’s attempts to hamstring the show in the stupidest ways. Hopefully Matt LeBlanc becomes a hell of a lead host because the BBC desperately needs some good pub right about now.