In a recent interview with CBC News, Jeremy Clarkson has described The Grand Tour roadtrips as being ‘holidays for three 12-year-old men’.
“One of our directors was asked what it was he did for a living, and he said: ‘I organize holidays for three 12-year-old men’,” Clarkson reveals. “We go on holiday with each other and then somebody films it for us and puts it onto Amazon. That’s all we’re going to carry on doing: having fun on television, or on a phone, or whatever you’re watching us on.”
Clarkson also says that very little has changed day-to-day for him, Richard Hammond and James May, compared to when they were working on Top Gear. “There are no commercial breaks or commercial interference, which is joyous as far as we’re concerned,” Clarkson says. “It’s no different day-to-day: same crews, same producers, same everything and the same uninterrupted hour of television.”
But one thing’s for sure, with the larger budget Amazon has provided them and the creative freedom which streaming online allows for, The Grand Tour team definitely have the ability to push the boundaries a little compared to what they’ve done on Top Gear in the past. “Because we don’t know how many people are watching it — it’s a closely guarded secret, we don’t even know,” Clarkson says. “The only thing we can do is make a program that we enjoy. And then hope that we’re not so unusual that other people won’t share our taste.”
“It’s just thinking of funny things that will amuse us and entertain us and we’ll come and do it. That’s what we’re actually in the middle of now: working on season two and thinking of all the silly things we can go and do around the world.” – Jeremy Clarkson
Clarkson also spoke about how his relationship with Hammond and May has changed, after they began working together on The Grand Tour. “Before, it was just sort of benign dislike of one another. But it’s blossomed into a fully formed hatred now,” Clarkson says. “We do drive each other up the wall, but it’s part of what it’s all about. That said, we do have a laugh. We do work really well together, which is a good thing, because we spend about six days a week, 24 hours a day in one another’s company. Even when we’re not filming, like now, they’re sitting in the same office as me. So I see them every day and all day.”
When asked how he would explain The Grand Tour to people who were not interested in cars, Clarkson said: “If you went to a television company and said ‘Look, we got these three badly dressed men with awful teeth, and they can’t do anything at all, and they try and it always goes wrong,‘ nobody would buy it. And yet somehow it does seem to work.”
“Whenever you watch television, there’s always someone who’s an expert in their field doing great work. They know a lot of stuff, they’re intelligent, they’re good-looking, they can bake a great cake, climb a great mountain, find a rare animal — whatever it is, they’re brilliant at it,” Clarkson explains. “For once, you can tune into television and say ‘I’m not so hopeless after all ’cause I’m better than those three idiots.’ We give people hope that you don’t have to be a genius or a superstar or Kate Moss to work on television.”