Given that the trio hosted Top Gear for well over 10 years, with Jeremy being involved with the show during its first iteration all the way back to 1988, it was only a matter of time before someone asked them their feelings about the “new” Top Gear.
On February 8th, during a live DriveTribe Q&A session, one audience member asked the boys how hard they laughed at the dismal performance of the most recent season and the departure of Chris Evans.
It’s no secret that the split between Clarkson and the BBC was messy, to say the least. Between the legal battles, the formalities, and the negative press that’s come out from the BBC against The Grand Tour, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that he and the others are feeling pretty smug with themselves after how brightly The Grand Tour outshone Top Gear. In fact, looking at the numbers, there’s just no comparison.
However, they had a very reasonable and, perhaps uncharacteristically, mature response. Jeremy and Hammond explained that Top Gear was their “baby” and because it was so precious to them, they weren’t laughing at all. In fact, they hope that the new season does well. Hammond said:
“There was no willing them to fail, none of that. A lot of that was attributed to us, sometimes unfairly because in what way does that advantage us? It doesn’t. Anything that keeps car shows hot, and current and popular is in our favor”
James then made the point that, why would they want it to fail, it gives them a chance to watch a car show without them on it. The audience member then asked if they thought it spoke to the success of The Grand Tour. The response was a resounding no. May elaborated that surely people read more than one kind of magazine and eat more than one kind of food so you can watch more than one kind of car show.
The boys may just get their wish for a more worthy rival, as the new Top Gear trailer for series 24 has fans and critics very interested. And indeed, if the new season is as humorous and clever as the trailer was, there might just be hope yet for LaBlanc and his team, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, after all. It looks like that with Chris Evans gone, the show might just have their chemistry worked out.
As far as we’re concerned, it should fill in nicely between Grand Tour seasons!