Jeremy Clarkson addresses future of The Grand Tour amid pandemic: 'We're facing difficulties'
The presenter isn't sure about the next location for The Grand Tour specials – but what about the UK?
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are about to set off on another motoring adventure for The Grand Tour Scotland special.
The episode, which is part of the show's season four specials, will arrive on Amazon Prime Video on July 30th, and is a double bill, with the second segment expected to follow soon after.
The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown will see the trio taking on the Scottish Highlands in some American cars (don't ask) while getting up to their usual shenanigans.
Viewers will be happy to see the petrol heads back in full force after having to ration season four in the past year due to a format change and the ongoing pandemic.
So far in season four, we’ve seen the original Top Gear trio take on Cambodia and Vietnam in the 2019 Seamen special, before travelling across Madagascar in December’s A Massive Hunt. The Russia special was put on hold, however, due to travel restrictions.
And Jeremy, Richard and James have all expressed their concerns about where the next Grand Tour special will take place and the future of the show.
Speaking to press including RadioTimes.com, Jeremy explained: "It's one of the big nightmares it is. We chose a country, I won't say which one we chose, but we were working on a story in a country which was an amber country, so we could have gone to it, and then it went red just a few days ago, so back to the drawing board.
"It is very tricky at the moment to be able to say, because we need three or four months to set up a big foreign job and it's not really well us planning and spending hundreds and thousands of pounds setting up all of these fields, and then all of a sudden somebody says, 'Oh well, we can't go there now' so we are facing some difficulties."
The recent travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus has forced them to move the series to the UK. So, how does Jeremy feel about the next The Grand Tour specials also taking place in Britain?
"It's a conversation that we're going to have to have and we were having it at lunchtime. We have to be realistic about what might happen," he said.
For Jeremy, filming in the UK isn't an issue, with the presenter saying: "I mean, the one thing you have to think about that while Scotland, on this occasion and the next one, which was filmed in Wales and England, might not be terribly exotic to British viewers, if you're watching it in America or Australia or India or wherever it might be, then Scotland is incredibly exotic. It's as exotic to them as South Africa is to us, or Uganda or wherever it might be."
He added: "You can't think, 'We're always stuck in the UK.' We can still do great stuff. This is a country with a huge variety of scenery and things and cars, and in some ways it's easier to film here than it is somewhere else because there's so much available to us, and we don't have so much COVID nonsense."
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When it comes to the location for Grand Tour specials, James thinks it's more about their "chemistry" than the country they choose to go to.
Asked whether he feels nervous about filming in the UK after previous trips to African and Asian continents, he said: "I didn't really worry about that, to be honest. I've often campaigned to do some of the UK because we do have a big audience in the UK, but we have a big audience all over the world so the UK is exotic if you live in America or Japan. I don't think going to a so-called exotic location is the vital ingredient. The vital ingredient is us three taking over our subjects and mucking about and we can do that in the UK as well as we can do it anywhere else."
James would like them to finish off the Russia special, however, and revealed they've already bought the cars for the series which was previously postponed.
"We've got a big plan for Russia on hold, which is the one that we couldn't do when COVID kicked off. I mean, it'd be nice to finish that off since we set it all out. We've even bought the cars, I'm not sure where they are, whether they're in storage somewhere. So, I think I'd like to do that. I'd quite like to do something hot and desert-y because I've already forgotten the agony of Madagascar."
The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown arrives on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 30th July. Sign up for Amazon Prime for £7.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for more news and features.