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Top Gear trio's new Amazon Prime show has a colossal budget of £4.5 million per episode

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May went with Amazon because they don't want to be 'policed'

By Christopher Hooton

Published 07/08/2015

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May proved to be a winning formula in the ratings for the BBC (BBC/PA Wire)
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May proved to be a winning formula in the ratings for the BBC (BBC/PA Wire)

Amazon wasn’t joking when it said it was giving the former Top Gear team the freedom to make the show they want, reportedly promising them a £160 million budget for the upcoming series.

One of the most expensive UK shows ever, it has a budget bigger than that of the first two seasons of House of Cards and the first Avengers movie.

Former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman, who has jumped ship with the trio, told Broadcast it was the promise of a reported £160 million that made them choose Amazon (which initially seemed like an odd choice over Netflix or a terrestrial/freeview channel).

The team have committed to 36 episodes of a new car show, as yet untitled, meaning each episode will have a budget of around £4.5 million.

"It was very parochial the way this whole thing started," Wilman said. "It's not our forte doing deals. We're all crap at business.”

The exorbitant sum, coupled with Amazon’s promise to give the presenters “creative freedom” on the show, means you can expect it to continue on from Top Gear with a more adventure than consumer advice theme, with the trio motoring around the globe.

“We love the people down at ITV, but we couldn't do it," Wilman added of the broadcaster choice.

“Every one we have talked to has told us: ‘They [Amazon] leave you alone to make your show'. That's a big one for us - we don't like interference, we don't need to be policed."

Launching simultaneously in the UK, US and Germany, the new show is expected to arrive on the streaming service in autumn 2016.

Source: Independent

Independent News Service

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