LONDON — The former stars of hit BBC motoring show “Top Gear,” Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, and the show’s former executive producer, Andy Wilman, have held talks with commercial broadcaster ITV.
The BBC decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract after he hit the show’s producer during location shooting. May, Hammond and Wilman cut their ties with the show shortly thereafter.
The three presenters and Wilman met Wednesday with ITV program head Peter Fincham, who is the one-time controller of the BBC’s main channel, BBC1, and ITV’s director of entertainment and comedy, Elaine Bedell, at Fincham’s home in West London, according to the Guardian Friday.
A new motoring show fronted by the rebellious trio is likely to attract the male demo to ITV. “Top Gear,” which remains a BBC show, attracted audiences to BBC2 of around 6 million, of which roughly two-thirds were men. Streaming service Netflix may also be a potential home for the former “Top Gear” team, according to media reports.
Kim Shillinglaw, the controller of BBC2, now has the job of rebuilding “Top Gear,” which would face competition from the new show fronted by Clarkson et al. if the ITV talks produce an agreement.