Full name: James Daniel May
Date of birth: 16 January 1963
Place of birth: Bristol, England
Spouse: Sarah Frater
Other TV successes from James include The Reassembler, Cars Of The People, and Toy Stories. Alongside his fellow presenters, he owns part of DriveTribe and its sister site FoodTribe.
James May moved around a lot during his childhood with his parents James and Kathleen, his two sisters and brother. “I moved all over Britain. Homelife was very happy. We all had food and shoes,” he said.
Before teenage-hood, he attended Caerleon Endowed Junior School in Newport until he and his family moved to South Yorkshire and he attended Oakwood Comprehensive School in Rotherham alongside actor Dean Andrews from Ashes to Ashes and Life On Mars.
During school, he was a choirboy for Whiston Parish Church, and this love for music continued to college where he studied a Bachelor of Music at Pendle College of Lancaster University. He specialised in the piano and harpsichord but also plays the flute and saxophone.
After college, he worked in Chelsea as a records officer in a hospital, then worked in the civil service for a short time.
James May’s First Top Gear Appearance
As we’re sure you know, Top Gear didn’t start in 2002. The version we all know and love did, but it actually started back in 1977 with Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne at the helm. Clarkson wasn’t on board until 11 years later.
Within ten years after that, however, Clarkson left, leaving a position open for a new presenter. Who was the new kid on the block? Why James May of course!
It’s fair to say a lot of people think James May made his Top Gear debut in season 2 alongside Clarkson and Hammond. This is not true! While the first-ever clip of James May on Top Gear isn’t available, this one is the earliest we can find. Just look at those sunglasses!
James May returned to Top Gear after not being involved in the first series. Instead, Jason Dawe was hosting alongside Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson. James May replaced Dawe for the second series and onward, with his first film being focussed on his Bentley and how it costs the same as a Ford Mondeo.
How James May Got Into The Reassembler and Reassembling
If there is anyone on the planet who is more perfect than James May for hosting a show where he takes stuff apart and reassembles them, then I would like to meet this person.
The Reassembler might not be for everyone, but it’s hard to deny that James has a certain way about him that would make even reading the ingredients list off a box of cereal more entertaining than it should be.
James May’s Cars Of The People
Whatever your thoughts on the current episodes of The Grand Tour, it’s always a treat to find out that there’s more TopGear to watch. And while James May’s “Cars Of The People” is technically its own show, the cinematography, cars, writing, and presenting make them pretty much indistinguishable. Just without those other two crashing into things and getting pneumonia.