Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond says embarking on a new motoring show with Jeremy Clarkson and James May is a chance for the trio to reinvent themselves.
“We’ve had a riotous year and now we’re positioned somewhere none of us would have expected to be a year, two years, three years ago – poised to reinvent ourselves, to be creative in a way we would never have been,” Hammond explained on Steve Wright’s BBC Radio 2 show.
The trio’s move to on-demand streaming service Amazon Prime Instant Video follows Clarkson’s well-documented removal from the BBC show, after a “fracas” with a producer. It was “obvious”, Hammond admitted, that he and May would follow Clarkson out of the door, saying that in order to carry on what they do they need to stick together.
“We do what we do and for whatever reason – and whether you agree or not – there are those that think we do it quite well, so it became obvious and I thought, ‘well if we’re going to carry on doing that, we’ll do it together.'”
Details of what form the new show will take are scarce so just how this newfound creative freedom will affect their output remains to be seen. Their ‘stick it to the man’ attitude was always a core element of Top Gear, after all –whether it was naming a brand they shouldn’t or goading their own viewers (Hammond stuck up a mountain vigorously cutting down a tree while daring anyone to write in about it being a protected species, for instance).
Will they still persecute caravans? Will double denim remain a key uniform? Will they continue to crash into each for absolutely no reason at all or will these traditions be left at Dunsfold Aerodrome?
Of course, their next project won’t just be compared to their own Top Gear, but also to Chris Evans’s version of the show, which the new host has already said will keep some of the same formats (“It would be silly to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”). But Hammond says he, Clarkson and May are “charged” for the challenge of bringing something new to the table. Gentlemen, start your engines…