If you’ve watched a lot of old Top Gear, you might’ve heard how James May got fired from multiple jobs before he ended up joining Top Gear. The Grand Tour presenter has recently revealed on the Fuelling Around Podcast how he got fired from Channel 4’s show ‘Driven’ in the ’90s because the bosses decided that all the presenters couldn’t be males anymore. James was the least popular back then among his other two colleagues and as a result, the ‘woke’ organization sacked him so that a woman could take on his role.
May presented the new show Driven alongside Jason Barlow and Mike Brewer but, was forced to leave before filming began for series two. Eventually, the show went on to hire Penny Mallory and Jason Plato while May was hired by the BBC for Top Gear.
In the podcast with Dave Vitty and Jason Plato, May recalled his encounter with the Channel 4 show. Describing his experience, he said:
“I did series one of Driven with the other Jason [Barlow] and Mike Brewer, but I only did it for one series because after that I got fired like I did from everywhere else.”
Plato and May then discussed who took his place back then to which, May said:
“Well, actually I think Penny Mallory officially took my place.
I can tell you the story behind this now because a long time has passed but we did one series, it was… I did watch a bit the other day for the first time in many, many years.
And it was quite good, we came up with a few original ideas like the three-header group nest and the news section inside the truck.
Those were ideas that, shall we say, reappeared elsewhere. But after series one, this was an early bit of wokeness, they thought this programme is not quite right because it’s got three white blokes all the same age…”
When Plato asked if that was the actual reason they fired him, James explained:
“No, they told me! They needed a woman. They needed to have a woman.
So they couldn’t really get rid of Mike Brewer because he had his other shows and he was very popular.
They couldn’t really get rid of Jason because he was being groomed for greater things and he was going to become the editor of Car Magazine and all the rest of it.
So the only target left was me so I was out the door and that was it really. I got fired from everything in the old days so I was used to it.”
The saying that ‘whatever happens, happens for good’ holds true in this case. If it wasn’t for Driven’s woke bosses, the world might have missed out on a gem we commonly call Captain Slow. Not only that, though May sailed the rough seas early in his career when he “got fired from everything,” his perseverance finally brought him on the world’s most popular car show. Now that is quite a motivation!