Top Gear producer Andy Wilman calling it quits?

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With Jeremy Clarkson officially out of the BBC and a high probability that May and Hammond will follow suit, Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman has quit through an email forwarded to his former BBC colleagues with the subject “Au revoir“.

Curious about what Andy told his former comrades via email? Read on…

Well, at least we left ‘em wanting more. And that alone, when you think about it, is quite an achievement for a show that started 13 years ago. I know none of us wanted it to end this way, but for a moment I’d like us to look back and think about just what an incredible thing you all had a hand in creating. When Jane Root gave us the green light in 2002, the brief was to reinvigorate a car show and get an audience of three million. What you all ended up making was one of the most iconic programmes in TV history, a show about cars that went global, won countless awards, was devoured by non car fans and ended up in the Guinness Book of Records.

We had a lot of laughs, we had a lot of tiffs. We went to amazing places and we went to some shitholes. We nearly killed a presenter, we had to run for the border. We started off with whoever we could get in the Reasonably Priced Car, and ended up with Tom Cruise. Throughout all this we made television that was beautiful to look at and beautiful to listen to. The work ethic never slipped, the desire for everyone in this dysfunctional family to do right by the show never faltered. Jeremy, Richard and James, as the visible tip of the iceberg, got most of the attention and praise, but you all in your own fields had such an immense hand in weaving this unforgettable tapestry. I would love to single out everybody by name to thank them for what they did, but it’s impossible and I’d forget someone I shouldn’t have and that would be crap, so I’ll just say Jim, I’m sorry we never got a bear to drive an automatic.

For those of you who still rely on it for work, don’t worry, because the BBC will make sure the show continues. Our stint as guardians of Top Gear was a good one, but we were only part of the show’s history, not the whole of it. Those two words are bigger than us.

Anyway, when you’re feeling low in your working day at any point, look around at some of the crap on TV, then have a think about Top Gear, 2002- 2015, and say to yourself: “I made that.”

A big, big, big thank you, which will never be enough.

Andy.

Wilman issues statement

Andy Wilman has issued a statement about the email, saying: “The email I wrote yesterday was not a resignation statement, and nor was it meant for public consumption”.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said his email “was intended as a heartfelt message to people who had worked with him and Jeremy, to recognise the fact that with Jeremy leaving it was the end of an era”.

“It was not a farewell but a thank you to people who have been important to the show over the last 12 years. It was bringing down the curtain on the Clarkson era, not announcing his own departure,” she added.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know what to say truly. I mean hopefully they get good presenters, but I feel the chemistry will be hard to get because they haven’t worked together long enough. Wilman did the right thing, let the BBC figure it out. It got me through hard times, and believe it or not, I learned many, many things with it. I am definitely making a memorial for this show some where along the walls of my home, as this helped me be a better person, even if it was hosted by a man who punches others over food.

    • I am still hopeful this means he is in talks with Clarkson about restarting something similar… He was Clarkson’s producer after all…

        • They might… The problem is, as Jeremy was pointing out in recent years quite often, they will become quite old in few years time and nobody would want to watch them. Which is just a smaller part of the problem, the bigger issue is – would Jeremy like to start all over again on a different channel? He’s really turning old after all, quite rich as well, what would make him go through the trouble of building the show all over again… for the second time?? Sort of “been there, done that” moment, you know.. and he certainly doesn’t need to. They have fame, families (well, at least two of them :)) and millions of pounds already.

          As much as I seriously would love to see them ranting about Peugeots once again, than again and than again… for at least ten more years, I would be surprised if they kick it one more time.

  2. Really, really, really going to miss this show, the jokes, the adventures and “our” presenters, Jeremy, Richard, and James… I understand what Andy is saying here, and I understand his optimism, but Top Gear just can’t function without all of them… They were TG. I watched TG because of their chemistry, not for the cars necessarily. I enjoyed watching and following them. Without them, this show will be foreign to me, empty and unpleasant. My favorite show and my favorite guys are no more and I can’t just “get used to some other blokes”

  3. I hope in near future they all get back together, Andy, Jeremy, Richard & May forgive each other and forget. We all do mistakes in our lives. Be good to each other once again even if TG is no more. Well if you got back together and decide to proceed with the next episode of TG again…then its a big bonus for all of us viewers. To be honest i really really appreciate all the people working with TG since day one, for me it is the greatest car show ever. Sorry i didn’t mention stig here but nonetheless stig is just as important, TG can’t work without all of them. If BBC were to get someone else to run TG it better be other name instead of TG. For me TG is only for Andy, Jeremy, Richard and May.

  4. The live shows will go ahead as planned but not under the name topgear or bbc and they can’t use the stig or use clips but it will still be a good live show

  5. Is this real, or just the traditional 1st April joke? Anyway, the end of Top Gear was clear since Clarkson was suspended… 🙁

  6. The problem with new presenters is they will always be compared to our old group of mates. That means anything new is doomed.

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