Most critics had their doubts about whether a television show like Top Gear could be successfully translated into a live arena format for fans to enjoy, but when you look back at it all and consider the statistics, they couldn’t have been more wrong. The success of Top Gear Live (or Clarkson, Hammond and May Live, post fracas-gate) spanned some 7 years, in 32 cities across 19 countries and in front of more than 2.2 million people around the world. But like most good things, it must come to an end.
The fate of the live show was effectively sealed when Jeremy Clarkson’s fist met Oysin Tymon’s face in a hotel in Yorkshire earlier this year, after a 40 minute argument over the catering arrangements – or lack thereof. Jeremy, Richard and James’ eventual departure from the BBC and Top Gear caused quite the conundrum for the Top Gear Live world tour, which was already in full swing by this point, with venues booked and hundreds of thousands of tickets pre-sold to excited fans. Thankfully, after a slight delay, the show continued on under the ‘Clarkson, Hammond and May Live’ nameplate and all BBC branding was scrubbed out or painted over. But now the tour has come to an end, after culminating (climaxing?) at the O2 Arena in London on the weekend.
Is it the last time we’ll ever see Clarkson, Hammond and May live on stage? I highly doubt it. Any future show will probably look radically different to Top Gear Live, which largely featured much of the same content year-on-year. But for Jeremy, Richard and James, building a new live show will always be secondary to their new show on Amazon Prime and for the next 3 years at least they’ll need to concentrate solely on establishing the show itself and a new global audience.
So Goodbye Top Gear Live and thanks for the good times. It has been one hell of a ride.