James May to present car show on BBC2… but it’s not Top Gear

May will join up with co-presenters Kate Humble and Ant Anstead to host Building Cars Live, broadcast from a BMW factory in Oxford

It’s not Top Gear, but James May will be back on BBC2 presenting a new motoring series later this Autumn: Building Cars Live.


The former Top Gear presenter will be teaming up with Kate Humble and For The Love of Cars co-presenter Ant Anstead for a new live two-part series how cars are made.

The show will come live from BMW’s Mini factory in Oxford, where a new car rolls off the production line every 67 seconds.

As well as Top Gear, May has made several one-off documentaries for the BBC, including Toy Stories and Man Lab, but this will be the first series he has made with the broadcaster since confirming he would not come back to Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond.

He wasn’t giving much away about the content of the show beyond what it says on the tin already. “I can’t wait to build a car. Live,” he said. 

BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw was more enlightening, saying, “Building Cars Live will take BBC2 viewers right under the bonnet of the car manufacturing industry. Broadcasting live from the car factory is a really exciting way to reveal the science, engineering and expertise behind the cars on our roads, and I’m delighted it will be presented by the hugely talented team of James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead.”

At least it will stave off May’s post-Top Gear boredom – although fans of his Unemployment Tube channel might be disappointed.

The series will air on BBC2 later this Autumn, although May, Hammond and Clarkson will all re-unite for a final Top Gear special on Sunday 28th June.

May and Hammond have filmed studio segments for the 75-minute special, made up of films made before the series was pulled following Clarkson’s “fracas” with a producer.



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