Ex-Top Gear team – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – have reportedly signed up to present a new show on Amazon’s streaming video service, Amazon Prime.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will front three series of a new motoring show for Amazon Prime, with the first season to be made available worldwide in 2016.
The move follows the team’s departure from Top Gear earlier this year.
Jeremy Clarkson’s contract was not renewed following an “unprovoked physical attack” on a Top Gear producer.
His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show.
They will now make the unnamed new program with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the “fracas”.
In a statement from Amazon, Jeremy Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.”
Richard Hammond said: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.”
James May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”
Amazon Prime Video EU vice-president Jay Marine said: “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen.
“We can’t wait to see what Jeremy, Richard, James and the team will create in what is sure to be one of the most globally anticipated shows of 2016.”
The Amazon deal is part of a company’s plan to compete with traditional broadcasters and streaming rivals like Netflix.
Amazon has also signed up Woody Allen to make his first television series; resurrected drama Ripper Street after it was canceled by the BBC; and won awards and acclaim for its dark comedy Transparent.
Meanwhile, Top Gear will continue on BBC Two, with Chris Evans among the new hosts.
Andy Wilman has decided to quit Top Gear in the wake of Jeremy Clarkson’s departure, the BBC has confirmed.
Jeremy Clarkson, 55, was dropped from the show on March 25 following a “fracas” with a producer.
Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who was an old school friend of Jeremy Clarkson, helped reinvent the show and oversaw its growth into a globally successful program.
Co-presenter Richard Hammond has also confirmed his intention to walk away.
Richard Hammond, whose contract expired last month, wrote on Twitter: “To be clear, amidst all this talk of us <<quitting>> or not: There’s nothing for me to <<quit>>.
“Not about to quit my mates anyway.”
Andy Wilman had previously denied he was leaving Top Gear, after a leaked email was interpreted as a farewell note to colleagues.
Yesterday, James May said he would not return to Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson.
Andy Wilman, the executive producer of BBC’s motoring show Top Gear, has announced he is not quitting the show after Jeremy Clarkson’s departure.
A leaked email from Andy Wilman to Top Gear staff had seemed to suggest he was resigning, but he said it was a private “note of thanks” marking the an end of an era.
Andy Wilman, an old school friend of Jeremy Clarkson, helped re-launch Top Gear in 2002.
Jeremy Clarkson, 54, was dropped by the broadcaster earlier this month following a “fracas” with show producer Oisin Tymon.
Andy Wilman has issued a statement about the email, saying: “The email I wrote yesterday was not a resignation statement, and nor was it meant for public consumption.
“It was a private note of thanks to 113 people who have worked on the show over the years, but clearly one of those 113 is a bit of a tit, because they shared it with a website.
“I don’t get this modern obsession with sharing, linking, forwarding, retweeting; whatever happened to a private moment?
“And if I were to resign, I wouldn’t do it publicly, I’d do it old school by handing in my, er, notice, to someone upstairs in HR.
“I work behind the camera and I wouldn’t presume for one moment to think people are interested in what I do. Now, everyone back to work.”
Photo Top Gear
In the leaked email Andy Wilman started with: “Well, at least we left ’em wanting more.
“And that alone, when you think about it, is quite an achievement for a show that started 13 years ago.”
As well as thanking staff, he assured them that the show will continue.
“For those of you who still rely on it for work, don’t worry, because the BBC will make sure the show continues.
“Our stint as guardians of Top Gear was a good one, but we were only part of the show’s history, not the whole of it. Those two words are bigger than us.”
BBC director general Tony Hall announced on March 25 that the broadcaster would not be renewing Jeremy Clarkson’s contract.
Jeremy Clarkson was suspended on March 10, following what was called a “fracas” Oisin Tymon.
The row, which took place in a Yorkshire hotel, was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.
There is no news yet as to whether Top Gear presenters James May and Richard Hammond will return to the show.
[youtube QjqWZAtXpNs 650]