James May warned he won’t do The Grand Tour ‘much longer’: ‘Falling apart!’

James May warned he won’t do The Grand Tour ‘much longer’: ‘Falling apart!’


The Grand Tour: Official trailer for Carnage A Trois

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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond return today as the latest episode of The Grand Tour premieres on Amazon Prime. The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois sees the troublesome trio set off from the Welsh hills and travel down to the English Channel and across to France. They will also explore the unusual world of French car culture. Amazon Prime traditionally releases new content at midnight of the release date, but some films and shows have been known to release slightly later at around 3am.

Amid coronavirus restrictions, the trio had been unable to film abroad, but still managed to produce two specials while the country was in lockdown.

The previous special, Lochdown, premiered back in July, and saw the boys tackle the Scottish hillsides as well as looking at some of the classic American cars.

Filming for Carnage A Trois took place in April, with fans spotting the trio travelling across Wales.

The main event of the show will be a race from Wales all the way to the Channel.

Mr May has worked alongside Mr Clarkson and Mr Hammond since 2003, when they first started co-presenting the revived Top Gear.

He had, however, briefly been a co-presenter of the original series in 1999.

Despite the nickname of ‘Captain Slow’, owing to his careful driving style, Mr May has hit some ludicrous speeds during his time — he took a Bugatti Veyron to 253 mph (407 km/h) in 2007, and topped that by hitting 259.11 mph (417 km/h) in the Veyron’s newer 16.4 Super Sport edition.

Following the BBC’s decision not to renew Mr Clarkson’s contract with the show in 2015, the trio departed, and launched The Grand Tour the following year.

The show follows a similar format to Top Gear, and has started to take its toll on Mr May, 58.

Speaking to The Sun in 2019, he said: “How do I feel about ageing? Bad.

“I’m in the second half of my fifties now and, in all honesty, I’m slightly falling apart.

“I’m developing nervous disorders and aches and I don’t think I’ll do this much longer because I don’t want to fall apart in public.

“It would just be a bit undignified and I don’t think people want to see it.”

Mr Hammond, the youngest of the trio, turns 52 on Sunday, while Mr Clarkson celebrates his 62nd birthday in April.

Amazon renewed The Grand Tour’s contract for a fourth series in December 2018, but retired the original studio and audience format, in favour of feature-length films dedicated to road trips and adventures.

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Carnage A Trois is the fourth of five scheduled for release. 

The fifth was supposed to have been filmed outside of the UK in mid-2021, although it remains unclear when this will happen due to the pandemic.

But Mr May admitted their TV careers are coming to an end, as he wants to leave the audience wanting more.

He told The Sun: “There’s almost certainly more of it behind us than in front of us.

“How long do you want to see old blokes?

“Jeremy’s possibly even more decrepit than me.

“When it takes us 15 minutes to get out of a Ferrari, do you really want to see that? It’s sad.

“You’re supposed to leave the audiences wanting more.”

He added: “We never thought we’d be doing it this long — and we never really thought about how it would end.”

However, discussing future plans earlier this month with The Radio Times, Mr May said they aren’t stopping yet.

Asked where they would like to go next, he said: “Ideally somewhere we haven’t been yet.

“We do have some partially-formed ideas on the back burner which we were working on before Covid stopped everything.”

He added that, although he prefers warmer places, he would be happy to go somewhere cold if it meant viewers were entertained.

He said: “If that meant going somewhere cold where we were all miserable, then I think the people watching the show would enjoy that.

“So, to be honest, anywhere where we can tell a good story. I’m not that fussy.”

The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois launches on Amazon Prime on Friday December 17.

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