Jeremy Clarkson has said he is feeling nervous about recording his new motoring series The Grand Tour, which was scheduled to begin filming in South Africa today.
“We’ve done it hundreds of times. It should be easy. I should be relaxed,” he wrote in a column for The Sun, yesterday. “But tomorrow, in a field just outside Johannesburg, James May, Richard Hammond and I will record the first studio segment for our new show, the Grand Tour. And I don’t mind telling you. I’m crapping myself.”
The show has already been beset by delays, after Clarkson’s flight to Johannesburg was held up on Thursday. The presenter took to Twitter to complain about a 12-hour delay. “Has anyone got a plane?” he asked his fans. Three hours later, he wrote that the “clever bods at British Airways” had solved the problem.
The Grand Tour, which will premiere on Amazon Prime Video this summer, stars Clarkson alongside his fellow former Top Gear hosts Hammond and May. Clarkson left Top Gear last year following a “fracas” in which the presenter physically assaulted a BBC producer.
Clarkson has said the BBC One programme “would have got tired and boring” if had continued to present it, and that the challenge of creating a new series has encouraged him and his co-hosts to push themselves in new directions: “Now we’re looking at losing Top Gear as a fantastic thing to happen,” he added.
Clarkson’s replacement on the Top Gear, Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, quit the show last week after a single series, following plummeting ratings, poor reviews and reports of tension between Evans and his co-presenter Matt LeBlanc. “I gave it my best shot,” Evans said, “but sometimes that’s not enough.”