Jeremy Clarkson leads Top Gear team to Amazon for new show

The as-yet unnamed show is due to begin filming “shortly” and will be broadcast next year.

From left: Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May will be reunited for a new show about cars on Amazon. Katerina Sulova / AP Images
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British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson, dropped from hit BBC motoring show Top Gear for punching a producer, will make a new series about cars for Amazon Prime, the streaming service announced on Thursday, July 31.

Clarkson will reunite with his two Top Gear co-stars, James May and Richard Hammond, for the as-yet unnamed show, which is due to begin filming "shortly" and will be broadcast next year, US retail giant Amazon said.

An estimated 350 million viewers around the world tuned in to Top Gear each week to watch the three men review cars and try them out in madcap stunts, making it the world's most popular factual television programme.

Much of the appeal for fans was Clarkson’s straight-talking, “man of the people” approach, but critics condemned him as a boorish bigot and he was an increasingly controversial figure even before the altercation with a producer in March.

Clarkson reported himself to BBC management after admitting to shouting at and hitting Oisin Tymon, giving him a bleeding lip for which the producer sought hospital treatment.

The BBC subsequently announced it would not renew Clarkson’s contract, while May and Hammond also left the broadcaster.

“I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson said on the announcement that the trio would be filming three seasons of a new show for Amazon.

May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and Prime, an internet streaming service similar to Netflix, offers subscribers access to thousands of films and television shows, including original content.

The BBC announced last month that it would continue with Top Gear with BBC radio presenter Chris Evans as the lead presenter. Production is due to start within