LONDON — The former presenters from hit BBC show “Top Gear” — Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May — have signed a deal with Amazon to produce a new motoring show for its streaming service, Amazon Prime.
The new show will launch next year and will be produced by former “Top Gear” executive Andy Wilman. The global deal commits the team to three seasons of the show, which is as yet unnamed. Work on the first season is set to start in the autumn.
Jay Marine, VP of Amazon Prime Video EU, said: “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen.
“Millions of Prime members are already enjoying our ground-breaking original shows. We can’t wait to see what Jeremy, Richard, James and the team will create in what is sure to be one of the most globally anticipated shows of 2016.”
Clarkson’s team is believed to have been attracted to Amazon by the promise of creative freedom, which was underscored by Marine. “Our approach is to give program-makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make,” Marine said.
On working with Amazon, Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship.” May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?” Hammond joked: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.”
Clarkson left “Top Gear,” which has an audience estimated at more than 350 million in 214 territories worldwide, in March. The BBC decided not renew his contract after he punched the show’s producer, Oisin Tymon. Hammond, May and Wilman then decided not to continue with the show, which the BBC is in the process of revamping, with Chris Evans at the helm.