Are Richard Hammond and James May returning to the BBC?

The head of BBC 2 says talks are on-going about a variety of projects, while the pair are spotted emerging from Broadcasting House without Jeremy Clarkson

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Could Captain Slow and the Hamster return to the BBC? The answer is a firm… maybe.

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“Conversations are on-going with James and Richard about a whole variety of projects at the BBC,” said Kim Shillinglaw, head of BBC 2 and BBC Four, on Radio 4’s Media Show. “While those conversations are on-going, they have to remain private.”

While never publicly ruling out working with the Corporation, this seems slightly at odds with what Richard Hammond and James May have previously said about returning to Top Gear…

James May: “Me and Hammond with a surrogate Jeremy is a non-starter, it just wouldn’t work… it has to be the three of us”

Nevertheless, the Hammond and May were both snapped emerging from BBC television centre yesterday, so talks are presumably ongoing.

The trio may not be returning to Top Gear, but Shillinglaw still saw a bright future for the show, saying “This is a really creatively exciting moment, it’s a really good time to look at the show and all aspects of it. I think what viewers of Top Gear really care about and what I care about is getting a really exciting show.”

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Shillinglaw also addressed fans who might be sceptical about a Clarkson-less Top Gear: “Rest assured any viewers of Top Gear out there, we care about our baby, we care about your baby, we will be determined to bring it back in a really exciting way.”