The Grand Tour’s Andy Wilman: I’m always sad when the BBC creates a successful show and it goes somewhere else

The former Top Gear producer, who left the BBC with Jeremy Clarkson to work on Amazon, says he is saddened by shows like Bake Off which depart for rival broadcasters: "It's like they've left home"

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The Grand Tour’s executive producer Andy Wilman has a pointed message for the BBC and the makers of The Great British Bake Off.

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The producer worked with Jeremy Clarkson on BBC’s Top Gear, before leaving with him to start afresh on Amazon Prime following the ‘fracas’ that cost Clarkson his job. However, Wilman says he is still saddened when successful BBC shows such as Bake Off leave the broadcaster for pastures new.

“I’m always sad when the BBC grows something and nurtures something and it goes somewhere else,” said Wilman on Radio 4’s Today programme, when asked what he thought of Bake Off’s move to Channel 4

“I get the business side of it, but it always seems that that’s the BBC’s role – they develop and then it goes on somewhere,” he added. “I’m very proud we have a BBC that develops and grows and that stuff goes, but it is sad because it’s like they’ve left home.”

Top Gear may not have left the BBC, but the three presenters who first turned it into a huge global success have. Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be launching their new show The Grand Tour on Amazon this Friday 18 November.

Wilman said that the biggest difference working with Amazon compared to the BBC is not knowing how many people are watching the series.

“We’ll never know the numbers because Amazon never give us the viewing figures,” he said. “That’s a blessing in its own way, because you can just make something and never, ever have to be judged by looking for overnights and consolidated figures.”

Instead, he said that he would be watching Twitter to gauge the reaction. “They’re all there with their thumbs banging away so we’ll get it from Twitter, I’d imagine,” Wilman said.

“I guess this is the next step, that the show is just going to exist out there. It will be released and over time hopefully millions will watch it – but we’ve said goodbye to that big figure coming in on a Monday morning.”

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The Grand Tour will be available to watch on Amazon Prime from Friday 18 November