James May: Jeremy Clarkson and I will be “too old” to make The Grand Tour in five years

May says he doesn't expect to be "fart-arsing around" on The Grand Tour for ever

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James May co-hosted Top Gear for over a decade, but says that he can’t see himself staying with The Grand Tour any longer than five years, because “we will be too old for it”.

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The Grand Tour presenter said in the Christmas issue of Radio Times that he expected not to stay with the Amazon series he helped establish with Jeremy Clarkson for long, adding “within the next five years I don’t want to be fart-arsing around”.

“We have to accept that fairly soon we will be too old for it,” 53-year-old May said. “Richard Hammond [46] is a reasonably fit bloke who looks after himself, me and Jeremy [56] aren’t.

“Jeremy is particularly decrepit and I find growing within me – I try to fight it for some reason, but I’m giving into it – a much stronger, nesty sort of instinct. Within the next five years I don’t want to be fart-arsing around.”

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Read more in the special Christmas double issue of Radio Times

May, along with Clarkson and Hammond, has signed a deal with Amazon to produce three series of The Grand Tour – 36 episodes spread over three years.

However, despite the lucrative pay cheque after leaving the BBC, May doesn’t feel trapped into going on longer than he’s willing to.

“I don’t feel trapped because I’m just about in control of it. I’m not beholden to anyone, I’m not waiting for a pension or a carriage clock. But you have to know when to step back, and to be honest I thought it would have happened by now. Eventually I want some other people to do it.”

May is back on the BBC this Christmas with a special edition of his BBC4 series The Reassembler. The Grand Tour will also have a special Christmas-themed edition on Friday 23 December, with another ‘epic journey’ planned for Friday 30th December.

James May: the Christmas Reassembler airs on Wednesday 28 December at 9pm on BBC4.

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Read the full interview in the special Christmas double issue of Radio Times, available now