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Is BBC Offering May and Hammond Millions to Return to Top Gear?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/5/2015 Karla Sanchez

While the future of "Top Gear" is still unknown, it's possible James May and Richard Hammond will remain on the show, as reports suggest the BBC has made a multi-million-dollar bid to keep the two hosts without Jeremy Clarkson by their side.

James May Richard Hammond Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear© Provided by MotorTrend James May Richard Hammond Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear

That doesn’t mean it’s over for Clarkson, though. The BBC is reportedly working out a deal in which the two hosts would have a different guest presenter each week, leaving an open door for Clarkson in the long run. After all, it has been emphasized many times before that Clarkson isn’t officially banned or fired from the BBC, but that only his contract has expired. Kim Shillinglaw, BBC2 controller, even told The Guardian last April that Jeremy will be back on the BBC. “It is serious and unfortunate what happened but there is no ban on Jeremy being on the BBC. Jeremy … needs some time out,” she said.

Is BBC Offering May and Hammond Millions to Return to Top Gear?

BBC’s bid comes in an effort to prevent the three men from reuniting on a rival car show, seeing as the trio has made Top Gear one of the BBC’s most valuable shows. The three men have been linked with a move to ITV, having met with directors and producers. There have even been talks of the three switching over to Netflix.

While the corporation needs to punish Clarkson over his inappropriate actions with a member of the production team, it still realizes how valuable Clarkson is. BBC allowed the c ontroversial ex-host to continue the remainder of the Top Gear Live tour with Richard Hammond and James May, although the events will be stripped of any Top Gear branding. The show, now simply called "Clarkson, Hammond, and May Live," is headed to arenas around the world through the end of November.

Source: The Guardian

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