While traveling across the world for the Top Gear stadium tour, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard, Hammond, and James May pushed their minds and bodies to the limit with a ‘rock and roll’ lifestyle. But it’s recently been revealed that this was almost to much for May, who feared for his health one night in Australia.
Phillipa Sage worked with the trio on this tour, and has now released a book unearthing the secrets behind the popular car show. She tells a story that involved James May having a serious worry over his health.
James May joined Top Gear before it reboot in 1999. He then rejoined Clarkson and Hammond in 2003 when he quickly made a name for himself.
One night during the stadium tours, a member of the crew mistakenly thought the hotel was on fire. The alarm swept through the hotel, leading to a rather embarrassing moment for James.
“What was more of a shock was to see James May exit in his boxer shorts,” Philipa wrote.
“Later James, our most gentle presenter, thought he was having a heart attack after suffering chest pains following an afternoon performance.”
“Paramedics confirmed no heart attack but not surprisingly he was clearly suffering from stress and the effects of a not so healthy lifestyle.
“After a snooze, he declared he felt better and he would go ahead with the evening’s performance.”
Philipa explained that the trio was not allowed to get ill, and that they’d get no sympathy from their fellow presenters.
“As a Top Gear presenter, you were not allowed to be ill and certainly weren’t going to get any sympathy, even if you were close to death,” she recalls.
Phillip added: “Jeremy and James joked on this occasion, as they always did if one of them was potentially facing death, about the promise they had made between the three of them, that the first word after announcing publicly the death of any of them would be ‘Anyway…’
“All’s well that ends well. James was still alive and they completed three more days and nights of successful shows.”