Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy Clarkson: 'We weren't allowed to take anything from Top Gear'

Jeremy Clarkson joked he had the "happiest nine minutes of his life" before James May and Richard Hammond moved with him from the BBC.

The Grand Tour had to "start again" to ensure it was suitably different from Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson has revealed.

Clarkson hit headlines when he erupted at a crew member on the set of the BBC's Top Gear, leading to a suspension and eventual dismissal from the programme. He is now promoting his new series The Grand Tour, which also stars his former Top Gear co-stars Richard Hammond and James May, but revealed during an upcoming appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show that bosses had to be legally certain the Amazon Prime motoring programme didn't rely on elements from the trio's former vehicle.

"You can't do the same show because of 'intellectual property, IP' so lawyers come and say, 'You can't do that, you can't have the audience standing up, you can't do Star in a Car, you can't have The Stig, James May can't be slow and pedantic, I can't be bombastic, Hammond can't be short and from Birmingham' so we had to jumble everything up and so we had to start again," Jeremy explained.

"We started in a tiny little office in Marylebone (London) and there were only two chairs in it so we took it in turns to sit down and we had a stationery cupboard with a highlighter in it and some A4 paper and that was it… It is quite interesting because when you work for a large broadcasting organisation, they take care of everything for you. All of the stuff you don't even know you need to do. Then, it was all taken care of for us and then suddenly we had to do it all."

Jeremy also joked about the time after he left the BBC before James and Richard decided to move to Amazon Prime with him.

"There were nine minutes from me leaving the BBC, to Richard and James saying, 'Actually we'll come with you.' And they were the happiest nine minutes of my life," he teased. "Then in they walked. And we got cracking and it was about 15 months ago!"

The Grand Tour premieres on Amazon Prime on 18 November (16).

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