Fans have been questioning why The Grand Tour has restricted itself to only two, sometimes even one episode per year, since the move away from the tent setup.
The roaming car show presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, moved away from the tent audience and moved its focus to special episodes which were always a favourite of viewers. The travel and adventures were the parts that the majority of watchers enjoyed, with the studio segments being skipped. Or rather, that’s what Amazon has us believe.
This left some fans missing these traditional parts of the show, and yes I miss them too, but the resulting episodes have been brilliant, albeit few and far between. Their argument is that it takes a lot longer for these films to be planned, shot, and edited. And while I’m sure this is true, I also thing the presenters are looking further afield and, as we’ve seen, are producing their own solo content.
Jeremy Clarkson has his famous and popular Clarkson’s Farm, James May has his travel show, Our Man in…, and now Richard Hammond has commented on this move as the second series of his solo show, Richard Hammond’s Workshop, goes live on Discovery+.
“They’re interested to see me following my dream,” he told the press.
“Jeremy’s following his dream with this farm. James is travelling for his show on Amazon.
“We’re doing the things we like to do. So what it does mean for The Grand Tour is when we’ve been away doing these things, pursuing our own genuine individual passions, we come back together on The Grand Tour as full people who’ve got experiences to share.
“We are who we are, which is great,” he said.
He was further asked why he thought fans enjoy watching them and their relationship as they fight their way through the roads of Madagascar or save their stranded co-presenter from the icy lake water of Scandinavia.
“Any TV show where you see that genuine rapport amongst mates – and you know everybody has a circle of people that they know – and you reach that point where you know roughly how they’ll react if you say something.
“And I know that with Jeremy and James, and I know that with Neil, Anthony and Andrew (Greenhouse) because we’ve known each other for years.
“So I know if I’m talking to Jeremy and James and I said say something about motorbikes, I know Jeremy will fire up, I know where the conversation would go.
“I don’t know exactly, but I can predict. Likewise with Neil and Anthony, if I say something about going to a posh restaurant in London, I know where they’ll go with it.
“And that’s what you’ve got with your friends and what we’ve always had.
“People like seeing that on screen when it’s for real because it’s familiar.”
Unsurprisingly, he was was asked about how his new venture into the car restoration world was going:
“We’re getting there,” he said.
“I’m loving it. It is an adventure – it does have downs as well as ups.
“But that’s okay. It’s a real experience, and I’m learning a lot about myself and about the industry.”
“I’m not being a TV presenter, I’m being me.”