With Top Gear returning to TV, the new trio consisting of Chris Harris, Freddy Flintoff, and Paddy McGuinness are beginning to do the interview rounds to promote the new series. In one interview, they had quite a lot to say about the presenters of The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, with Clarkson receiving the brunt of their feelings.
Harris, who has been pushed to the front of the new Top Gear presenter lineup, was quick to admit that Clarkson paved the way for their success, “defining” what Top Gear is now. Top Gear began with a number of different hosts, including now Executive Producer of The Grand Tour Andy Wilman, but overall suffered a rocky start.
It was rebooted in 2002 with Clarkson, Hammond, and Jason Dawe. Dawe was quickly dropped for James May the next year. But quickly the motoring program grew in popularity and became what’s it’s known for today with Clarkson being named the greatest automotive icon of all time earlier this year.
2015 found Clarkson and co without a show prompting a new selection of presenters to take charge to mixed review, but the latest trio are keen to praise Clarkson for the work he’d done.
“He’s the man,” Harris explained.
“He’s been doing it 30-40 years and he’s defined what this [Top Gear] is all about. Fair play to him.”
“He needs to do more Millionaire, he does a good job of that. He’s taking over!”
Paddy also put to rest the presenters’ rivalry in an earlier interview. He said the following:
“Speaking for myself, personally, I get asked a lot about how I feel about those three [Jeremy, Richard and James] but if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here because they worked their socks off to get Top Gear to where it is now.
“I’ll never have a bad word about them really. I met Richard Hammond just after it got announced we got the show and he was really lovely; I’ve never met James and I’ve never met Jeremy.”
The presenters were asked about the new series of Top Gear, and Chris was quick to pipe up about the Wall of Death.
“It was full-on, classic Top Gear!” he exclaimed to the Radio Times.
“The health and safety guys had been all over it but there were still a lot of unanswered questions…
“The whole thing was sketchy as hell, but that’s what Top Gear is all about.
“It was great television but, on a personal level, it was friendship-defining as well.”
The new series of Top Gear will start on Sunday October 4 on BBC One.