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The Grand Tour breaks Amazon Prime records with millions of streams

Published 22/11/2016

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond moved together to Amazon Prime from the BBC.
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond moved together to Amazon Prime from the BBC.

The debut episode of Jeremy Clarkson's new motoring programme The Grand Tour has set a new streaming record for Amazon Prime Video, the company has said.

Former Top Gear stars Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's new effort has become the subscription service's biggest premiere, beating previous number one show on the service, 2015's The Man In The High Castle.

Amazon did not reveal the total number of views for that or for The Grand Tour's launch episode.

A statement from the company said that "millions of Prime members" streamed the premiere episode over the weekend in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Japan.

The site said that "total new Prime membership sign-ups exceeded all previous days", aside from its Prime Day event on the day it became available to viewers.

The Grand Tour's first episode, which saw Clarkson, Hammond and May head to a desert in California to entertain a crowd in their travelling tent and test drive three hybrid hypercars, became available to stream on Friday.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said: "The guys are back, doing what they do best - the chemistry between Jeremy, Richard and James is what makes The Grand Tour so entertaining.

"Their creativity, along with the amazing production quality and 4K HDR streaming, has Prime members responding in a big way. Kudos and congrats to the whole team."

The ex-Top Gear stars' move from the BBC to Amazon last year came after Clarkson's contract was not renewed due to a "fracas" with a show producer.

Hammond and May followed him to the streaming service to create their alternative motoring programme.

The Grand Tour's debut episode received largely positive reviews from fans and critics.

Clarkson thanked fans for their praise, and admitted he was "relieved and grateful" for the response.

The BBC's review of The Grand Tour, however, described it as "uncomfortably hubristic", and hinted at a rivalry between Clarkson and May.

Arts editor Will Gompertz praised the scale of the production but said the programme seemed more suitable for the big screen rather than as a TV series.

A new episode of The Grand Tour will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video every Friday.

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