After months of speculation, it’s finally clear what Clarkson, Hammond and May are up to next.
The former Top Gear presenters are to make an “all-new car show” for streaming service Amazon Prime Instant Video.
The trio have signed a three-series deal with the internet giant, with the first run set to debut in 2016.
“I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson said in a statement, confirming the news via his Twitter account.
It has long been suggested that Clarkson might choose to work with an on demand TV service rather than a traditional broadcaster, with both Netflix and Amazon touted as potential partners.
Amazon has history in picking up BBC shows, having revived BBC1’s Ripper Street after it was axed by the broadcaster.
But the deal with the former Top Gear presenters represents a substantial increase on these previous commitments; Top Gear under Clarkson was, according to Guinness World Records, the most watched factual programme in the world, with an estimated global audience of 350 million.
Clarkson, Hammond and May’s final show on BBC2 – made up of films shot before Clarkson was dropped for an ‘unprovoked physical attack’ on a producer – drew 5.3 million viewers in June.
Launching in 2016, the new show is set to air in the same year as Evans’ rebooted Top Gear returns to the BBC. The Radio 2 presenter said being the new host of Top Gear was “like Doctor Who”, pointing out that there have been a total of 34 presenters in the show’s history.
“People kept saying I had ‘big shoes to fill’, and they’re saying it again now,” he told Top Gear magazine. “I don’t mean they’re wrong or they’re right, it’s just such a predictable thing to say – and, by the way, Jeremy is very tall, so they’re even bigger shoes.”