The final episode of Top Gear hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond was screened on Sunday, June 28.
The 75-minute special was compiled from footage shot before Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond left Top Gear.
The BBC Two show made no reference to their departure, nor the circumstances.
Closing the show, James May said: “Thank you very much for watching and, well, goodbye.”
Richard Hammond also said goodbye and the credits then rolled in silence.
After the episode ended, Jeremy Clarkson took to Twitter to say: “Many many thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years. So sad and sorry it’s ended like this.”
Richard Hammond also tweeted: “Can’t believe that one life has room to accommodate the first and the last steps of that incredible adventure. Thanks for your company.”
The show was a swansong for Jeremy Clarkson – whose contract was not renewed after he punched a producer – as well as James May and Richard Hammond, who both turned down the opportunity to return to the series.
The final show featured two separate films – in the second installment, Jeremy Clarkson is seen stranded in a river, declaring: “I hate working on Top Gear.”
At the beginning of the show James May welcomed viewers by saying: “Hello, and welcome to what’s left of Top Gear.”
The show format featured James May and Richard Hammond presenting in an empty studio, without Jeremy Clarkson or the usual live audience.
Also visible in the studio was the “elephant in the room”, a 10ft plastic replica elephant from a Hull design company which the show’s makers borrowed, called Jeremy.
The episode is predicted to become the highest-rated episode in Top Gear history, beating the audience of 8.35 million who tuned in to see Lewis Hamilton’s appearance in December 2007.
Jeremy Clarkson recorded a new voiceover for the show, although he was not paid. Richard Hammond and James May filmed new links, but without the traditional Top Gear studio audience.
Writing in the Sun, Jeremy Clarkson had said: “BBC Two is screening an edition of Top Gear cobbled together from two films that were made before I was fired.
Top Gear trailer for Jeremy Clarkson’s final appearance has been released by the BBC.
The episode will feature two films shot before Jeremy Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear and eventually sacked.
To Gear co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May return to the studio to present links from the studio, with Jeremy Clarkson noticeably absent.
No date has been given for transmission, and the broadcaster has yet to decide how Top Gear may return.
Top Gear was pulled from the schedules after Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension for attacking a producer earlier this year.
Footage shot for the three remaining episodes has now been compiled in to one extended program.
It contains two films which, in classic Top Gear style, feature cheap bangers, caravans and a race to the finish line for the three presenters to avoid a forfeit.
Earlier this week, rumors circulated that Chris Evans was being groomed to take over the Top Gear hotseat from Jeremy Clarkson, after the Radio 2 DJ revealed he was making a “Top Gear sequence”.
It later emerged that the film was part of Chris Evans one-off edition of TFI Friday, in which his friend Jeremy Clarkson will appear.
Chris Evans has ruled himself out of the Top Gear job on a number of occasions.
There has also been speculation that the show could return with a different guest host every week.
It was reported last week Richard Hammond and James May had been offered £1 million ($1.5 million) deals to stay with the BBC, although they themselves have seemed to distance themselves from returning.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have been appearing together in a series of live shows, which were originally meant to be under the Top Gear banner, but have since been rebranded Clarkson, Hammond and May Live and stripped of all BBC branding.
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