It was reported in the media this week that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were at Goodwood for a “top secret” meeting. Radio DJ Chris Evans added fuel to the fire, sparking rumours that the boys were meeting in secret to start planning their new show that would rival BBC2’s Top Gear.
Evans told Radio 2 listeners that the trio were holding talks with Brand Events, the company behind Top Gear Live, at the motor circuit. “He is doing a very secret thing with James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond that we’re not allowed to talk about. They are at Goodwood right now, in secret,” Evans said.
This was all The Mirror, Telegraph and Daily Mail needed, and so they grabbed and ran with it – publishing articles with their usual click bait headlines. However, as you’ve come to expect from such media outlets, it was all BS.
Jeremy, Richard and James were indeed at Goodwood, but it has nothing to do with any future TV show. Goodwood denied the claim upfront, saying the trio’s appearance in the area had nothing to do with them. “We don’t know where this story has come from. We don’t know anything about it. They may have met at the hotel but it is nothing to do with Goodwood or the motor circuit,” a spokesman said.
So here’s the truth. Jeremy, Richard and James were at Goodwood filming scenes for their upcoming “Clarkson, Hammond and May” live shows, which will kick off next month. The removal of BBC branding, the Stig and all other Top Gear references and video sequences has most likely left the show looking somewhat sparse – and it’s up to the boys and the live team to film the new content themselves.
In something that resembled a Top Gear sequence, Jeremy, Richard and James were seen loading props and equipment into the truck – with Jeremy’s wheelbarrow tipping sideways on the loading ramp.
They were later spotted leaving the Goodwood Hotel, with Jeremy behind the wheel of a bright green Lamborghini Huracan, followed by James in his yellow Ferrari 458 Italia.
BBC refuses to rule out the boys returning
Like a desperate ex who refuses to admit defeat and move on, BBC Two controller Kim Shillinghlaw has refused to rule out a return to Top Gear for Hammond and May. She did however concede that the show is being remodelled, and it is likely that the BBC will have to hire an entirely new presenting line-up.
Shillinglaw said: “Now that we are where we are, this is a really creatively exciting moment. It’s a really good time to look at the show and all aspects of it. I think what viewers of Top Gear really care about, certainly what I care about, is getting a really exciting show. That’s a process that will take a little bit of time because, my God, we really care about this show. Rest assured any viewers of Top Gear out there: we care about our baby, we care about your baby, and we will be determined to bring it back in a really exciting way.”
I think perhaps they threw the baby out with the bathwater…