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Amazon’s ‘Top Gear’ car show to be called The Grand Tour

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/05/2016 Natasha Lomas

The (in)famous former Top Gear presenter trio: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, who last summer signed to Amazon’s Prime video streaming platform to make a new car show to be screen on its platform this year, have revealed what it’s going to be called — and it’s The Grand Tour.

Why a tour? Because the show format will see the studio portion of each episode screened from a new location somewhere in the world — from inside “a giant tent”, rather than a studio. So really they should have called it ‘Carry On Camping With Clarkson & Co.’

The format of The Grand Tour will also feature “short films shot in different locations around the globe” — so basically it sounds exactly like Top Gear, just with a new name. And a tent. Why mess with a winning formula, eh?

The presenters make a lot of this “giant tent” in the PR announcing the show’s name, so it can quite possibly be seen as a troll of the BBC, the owner of the Top Gear format. The Corporation decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract last year, after investigating an “unprovoked physical attack” on a Top Gear producer by Clarkson.

And where Clarkson goes, May and Hammond duly follow… And so The Grand Tour.

Tickets for attending the tent-portion of the show will be released through a sweepstake this summer. It’s not clear if they will only be open to Amazon customers or more widely. Amazon said details of the location schedule and information on how to apply for tickets will be announced shortly.

The new Top Gear Grand Tour will be screened to Amazon Prime customers, starting this fall. Amazon will clearly be hoping to pick up some of the millions of viewers who tuned in to watch Top Gear when it was anchored by Clarkson to drive (pun intended) uptake of its Amazon Prime paid subscription.

The last episode of Top Gear with Clarkson & co. presenting drew some 5.3 million viewers.

The BBC has since rebooted Top Gear with a new line-up of presenters. This new BBC car show, sans Clarkson & co., will kick off its first episode on May 29.

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