The Grand Tour

BBC Legal Threat Forced The Grand Tour to Kill Off Celebrities

We’re two episodes into The Grand Tour and overall the feedback for the show has been positive. Despite the overwhelmingly good ratings, there are several segments of the show that have received mixed reviews so far.

One of the less loved segments of The Grand Tour is the celebrity guest segment. In this segment, a celebrity would typically appear on the show to plug something they are working on but inexplicably while trying to appear on the show they have all met with untimely ends. It would seem that this is not entirely by choice.


In a recent article from The Sun, they stated that “killing off” the celebs was essentially a forced response by Amazon and The Grand Tour to the BBC’s strict legal conditions following Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May leaving the show.

Several celebrities were killed off in the show’s premiere episode, dying due to unfortunate events like jumping out of a plane and their parachute failing to deploy or being bitten by a venomous snake. The most recent “victim” to die on The Grand Tour was supposed to be Charlize Theron who, *spoiler alert*, is eaten alive by a “wild lion”.


In other interviews, Jeremy Clarkson has said that The Grand Tour has also been stopped from having celebrities drive on a race track, having a leaderboard, and other segments from Top Gear.

A source for The Sun said that “The Grand Tour have been told not to implement the traditional celebrity interview segment.”

It would seem that some of the least enjoyed parts of The Grand Tour may not be Amazon and the boy’s fault after all. We can instead all happily blame the good ol’ BBC. Thanks, BBC. And on that disappointment…


Source: The Sun

Nick Dunlap

Nick is a lifelong automotive enthusiast, as well as journalist, and content creator. Nick also successful competes in a variety of automotive fields including national level car shows, autocross, SCCA races, and more. He enjoys designing and building a variety of cars and helping others do the same with theirs.

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  1. I say the BBC should do the gentlemanly thing and take the gloves off, tell them to do what they want and let the best man win. If they need to impose these sort of restrictions it’s like admitting they can’t make a decent show that can compete with TGT! People would watch both if the BBC actually did a Top Gear and got it right!

  2. Does the BBC have copyright ownership on having celebrity guests in a show? So maybe they should sue Sesame Street. Despicable sore losers.

  3. I always hated the star in a car segment anyway as it just stopped the show dead. Unless it was an F1 driver who cares how fast the ginger kid from Harry Potter went round their track. Much better to kill them before they can come on to sell something. And why people don’t like this new bit I just don’t know, it’s much better to just get on with the show

  4. If that’s the case, then Beeb should stop all it’s other talks shows from doing interviews then. But not worry, their version won’t be along much longer.

  5. TG GT see what they did there? Just good old top gear by a different name. Such a shame they couldn’t come up with at least one original idea. Disappointed very disappointed

  6. “Jeremy Clarkson has said that The Grand Tour has also been stopped from having celebrities drive on a race track.” Well I can’t see how the BBC can stop Celebrities from appearing on TGT (they already are but are being killed), however, there may be some precedent for Legal Action if they drive on a race track. Simple fix in my opinion. 1 Km – heading 222º (May can help you on this) is (at least on my Google Earth) a large dirt field. Three simple words… Off Road ATV. Plant some grass around the perimeter (to better “define” the dirt “field” and PAY Celebrities to go around the field STAYING ON THE DIRT. Pay them in Vietnamese Dong (1USD = 20,839 Dong (hmmm 5 digits… kind of like a lap ti… oh never mind)) and keep track of whom gets paid the most. Just an Idea, run it by Counsel.

  7. The BBC should follow Disney’s advice and “let it go”

    I didn’t watch Top Gear because it was on the BBC, I watched because of the chemistry and delivery that could only be achieved with JC, RH and JM.

    The recipe for the show was delicious, and I never got tired of coming back for more. Try to substitute just one of the ingredients and you’d have to change the name of the dish to the show formerly known as Top Gear.

    I tried to watch the new Top Gear and it sucked. It sucked hard! I found that I threw up a little in my mouth with each episode.

    I’m watching GT now, sure I miss some of the old ingredients, but I’m sure the show will either beat the pressure from the BBC, or come up with new segments.

  8. I personally love the way they are doing the show, it feels unique and yet familiar. I have signed up to amazon prime just to watch the episodes!!!

  9. I wonder how the BBC can legally fight a guest interview spot. A celebrity in a car and a leader board, sure. Those are fairly unique elements, and they can argue that point in court.

    But nearly every show of every stripe has a guest interview segment. What could possibly be their legal basis to threaten action?

    1. Most likely the three hosts had non-compete contracts with the BBC that force them to not essentially re-create Top Gear on another network. So far they’ve successfully skirted around such requirements of the contract but I’m guessing the BBC had much stricter language defining what a celebrity guest could do, since celebrity guests got people watching Top Gear that didn’t even like Top Gear.

    2. I also wondered about that.

      GT is a motoring show, so having someone test drive a car around a test track seems a basic requirement; I can’t understand why having that someone be a celebrity should be disallowed.

      BBC must have had misgivings way back sometime in the past if they’ve stitched up such generic ideas in legalese.

      Still, it can’t be beyond the wit of man (and there are four clever brains at least on GT) who should be able to bed down some iconic and original segment for them. We just need to let it develop into their own signature piece.

  10. Just shows how childish the BBC are. They realise that Top gear will never work without Clarkson Hammond & May so are living up to the bunch of wankers that we all know they are.

  11. Not being able to have The Stig is legally fair enough. However not being able to have a celeb on, or even if they could not set them a challenge…!? Ridiculous. Look at other car shows these days, the majority having a celeb on in an episode, and they normally put them to the test, so by BBC logic most car shows are in breach of their copyrights, which are shit by the way. And for some phrases that they typically say, and not being allowed to say them is just silly. James’ “Oh cock.” is just a natural reply to something going wrong. Jezza not being able to say “And on that bombshell…” is also fair enough because that is, or was, a TG saying… Overall not impressed with the way the BBC handled the changeover. Might be an idea to try and think up some way of fighting them off.

  12. We should all stop paying the BBC and giving them the power to do as they like. Even with the restrictions the grand tour is 100% better than the new top gear.

  13. No surprise there. The BBC want them to crash & burn, so of course they’re going to put legal pressures on the to stop them from using certain concepts from TG. No matter. They have come up with new concepts, some good, some not so good. The point is it’s early days yet, and the boys need time to get in their stride. I’m not overenamoured by the American, or the celeb bit, but I’m enjoying the banter and the genuine camaraderie. And of course the cars 😉

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