TV

James May issues heartbreaking Grand Tour update ahead of show end


Former Top Gear presenter James May has made a heartbreaking admission about how he doesn’t want to be remembered, as the latest series of ~The Grand Tour comes to an end.

The 61-year-old car fanatic told BBC’s Nick Robinson and Amol Rajan that it was “sad” and “remarkable” to record his last ever voiceover for the final episode of The Grand Tour earlier that day. He reflected on his time on the show, where he worked with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, as he said he didn’t want to “be the person in the pub who used to be on the telly”

At a live recording of the Today Podcast, which drops on BBC Sounds on Friday morning, and speaking in front of an audience at the BBC’s Radio Theatre, he explained: “I recorded today the last piece of voiceover I will ever record for The Grand Tour – and therefore in that whole legacy of Grand Tour, Top Gear and the few things I did before that.”

In The Today Podcast interview, James told Nick and Amol: “We’ve done it for nearly 22 years – a lot longer than we thought we would. I thought, when I started doing it in 2003 or 2004, that this was a bit of a laugh. Maybe it’ll last a few years. And, here we are, grey and wizened and sagging. And we’ve only just stopped doing it. It’s quite remarkable.”

He added: “You have to be grateful for the opportunity and thankful that it happened, and accept – you know – I don’t want to be the person in the pub who used to be on the telly.”

It follows the announcement at the end of last year that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May would be leaving the Amazon show, which has run for five series since 2016. Before that, the three presenters first worked together on the BBC‘s Top Gear from 2003 to 2015.

The final special will follow the trio’s adventures through Zimbabwe. James also revealed when it will be available for fans to watch.

He dropped a huge hint, while jokinly saying: “I’m not allowed to tell you what date it’s coming out, so I won’t say that it’s September. I can say anything I want now, frankly.”

Asked if the trio could reunite for a future television project, James confirmed that The Grand Tour will finish after the upcoming special this year, but leaves the door open to other potential onscreen collaborations.

He said: “We’re not going to make another series together about cars, no. Well, hang on. You should never say no, should you? I think it is pretty unlikely.

“We are working on a few things, me and some chums. They’re quite modest. I’m in the fortunate position of being able to do things for the sheer joy of it. And I hope one or two of those will come off. And I hope one or two of you might even watch them.”

James added: “My greatest remaining ambition is to get to the end of my life without running over anybody. Because I’ve managed it so far and it would be deeply ironic and very unpopular if it happened now.”

The full interview with James May on The Today Podcast will be released on BBC Sounds and other podcast providers on Friday 14 June at 6am.



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