Everything you need to know about The Grand Tour
When Top Gear returned earlier in the year without Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May, critics failed to take to the programme under its news presenters, citing a lack of chemistry between Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc. Evans quit after just six episodes.
It should be no surprise, then, that fans of the show’s old incarnation are itching to see the old gang back in action for their latest project.
An Amazon Prime exclusive, The Grand Tour will begin streaming on 18 November, and there will be a total of 12 episodes this series. Though many of the details have been kept under wraps, here’s what we know so far.
According to some reports, each episode has an estimated budget of £4 million. The opening scene alone is said to have cost in excess of £2.5 million. Viewers will see the trio speeding across the Californian desert in modified Ford Mustangs representing the USA’s red, white and blue colours, backed up by an eye-watering 150 vehicles, 2,000 motor enthusiasts, stilt-walkers, acrobats and six jet planes.
Clarkson is said to be earning £10 million for the series, and he recently tweeted a teaser photo to whet the appetites of car fans around the world:
The series opener was made in September, in the glitzy world of Los Angeles, while the second episode was actually filmed first in the South African capital, Johannesburg, back in July. Episode three was shot much closer to home in the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby, with the next one in Rotterdam. Other confirmed filming locations include Lapland, Stuttgart, Loch Ness and Dubai.
The Top Gear format viewers have grown accustomed to can’t be used outside the confines of the BBC. So this means no Stig, no news segment, and there won’t even be a test track for the presenters to give the latest supercars a test drive. In a recent interview for the Edinburgh International Television Festival, The Grand Tour’s producer Andy Wilman explained how discussions with the show’s lawyers got “funnier and funnier”.
“We went to Namibia to make a big film. The lawyers got out a film we had done [for Top Gear] in Botswana. The lawyers go through everything and they said, “There’s a scene in [Top Gear] where you’re in the middle of the Okavango and you go, “This scenery is beautiful”, so watch that you don’t do that.”
Clarkson and co. have signed a 36-episode contract with Amazon that lasts for three years. For the current season, a new episode will air each Friday for 12 weeks, so you can expect to enjoy the gang’s antics for a good while yet.