James May has revealed that it was Jeremy Clarkson causing the end of Top Gear that has pushed him to create the cooking show, ‘Oh Cook’. The Grand Tour presenter losing his temper after “not getting a steak” after a day’s shooting put the idea of cooking into May’s head, and this quickly turned into a host of videos on his YouTube channel after he became “unemployed”.
James told Radio Times: “I was essentially unemployed, and a bit bored.”
This pushed him to create the YouTube channel, JM’s Unemployment Tube, which quickly gained viewers and followers after he uploaded videos of himself cooking simple dishes like poached eggs on toast and shepherd’s pie. This, once the website FoodTribe began, evolved into more edited and planned cooking videos under the site’s own YouTube channel.
“So in a way,” James continued”, Jeremy Clarkson getting annoyed about not having a steak has led to me making a cooking show.”
He divulged more on his feelings behind the legendary ‘fracas’ to the Out To Lunch podcast:
“I was conflicted because it obviously wasn’t right, that was a bad moment, but everybody’s had one.
“They just tend not to be as public as his was, I was slightly annoyed,” James said, revealing that Clarkson’s actions were the result of “huge pressure” to maintain viewers.
“I hate the idea of being smug about it, but we were the world’s biggest factual entertainment show – the biggest one in history, possibly.
“At that point [in 2015] it was reckoned it had something like 350-360 million viewers.
“It’s a huge number, and there is a pressure to keep it up. Occasionally it will boil over in one way or another.”
James explained: “If we were AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, or The Rolling Stones and we were throwing up out the back of Rolls Royces or occasionally giving somebody a slap…
“Or if we were a professional football team misbehaving in a nightclub, people would go, ‘Oh that’s terrible, those rock stars…’
“It wasn’t really that different, being Top Gear. And on the whole, I think we behaved quite well,” he finished.