James May: Top Gear trio are “a package.”

The fallout from Jeremy Clarkson’s exit from the BBC continues with co-hosts now having made comment.

James May told reporters in a doorstop interview that the incident had been blown out of proportion.

Tellingly, he also indicated that he, Clarkson and Hammond were “a package” and that Top Gear had previously featured other presenters.

Richard Hammond also tweeted that he was “gutted” by the turn of events.

May and Hammond’s contracts are both believed to expire at the end of the month.

Meanwhile a BBC spokesperson told Mumbrella is was evaluating the ramifications for the Top Gear Live event scheduled for Sydney next month.

“We are working through the implications of today’s announcement with our partner Brand Events and will make a statement on the Top Gear Festival as soon as possible.”

18 Comments:

  1. I think it’s a damned if they do, damned if they don’t kind of issue. Either way the BBC had of went, they were jumping down a rocky cliff face with many obstacles that will hit them on the way down. The way they went had the least amount of legal issues involved.

  2. Craig, whilst you can’t force someone to sign there certainly are many an employment contracts out there that place limitations on where and what one may do after a contract is up. Its not at all unusual for an “account manager”‘s contract to bar the employee from working in the same industry in the same area for a period.

    • Non compete clauses. You can’t ban someone from working in an entire industry, especially if that is their only skill. It only applies to highly paid employees who are privy to important information about how you operate and would damage your business if they went to work for your competitors. And they usually only apply for a year. Anything too restrictive could be voided on restraint of trade.

      Was Clarkson sacked? The BBC’s official statement said he was suspended and his contract would not be renewed (it expired soon anyway). An assault doesn’t necessarily mean firing, especially a minor one.

      Of course the UK police are investigating. They love a minor celebrity case, even where there has been no complaint, they don’t have to do any work instead of trying to solve real crimes.

      Hammond has had a brain injury, May has a ruined back and cracked ribs in Patagonia and…

  3. This is crazy, more proof that May and company are on a power trip.
    They aren’t the Three Musketeers, it’s not all for one and one for all.

    I wonder if they would have retired the show if one of them had passed away, or if it was someone other then Clarkson was the one to leave. What do they say about old men and compensating for something? Clearly a good example here.

    Retire the show, retire the men and move on.

  4. This is a sad day for Top Gear fans all around the world. Such a sad way for the show to end, that’s not considering the live shows where fans paid to see the 3 of them, that’s assuming the Sydney one goes ahead now.

    Even if they retool the show with 3 new hosts which is likely given the comments from May and Hammond it will never be the same. I predict like back in 1988 when Clarkson left the original Top Gear it will fold in one season. It took Clarkson and others more than 10 years to bring the show back.

  5. Sounds like the Top Gear brand is nearly finished. If BBC was a public company rather than a government body, the shareholders would be wild at the sudden loss in shareholder value. I suspect all three will leave BBC and pop up somewhere together.

    • If I was an employee of the BBC and they hadn’t sacked Clarkson for physical assault on a colleague I’d have had them in the industrial court so fast….

      Anyone condemning the BBC here is effectively condoning violence in the workplace. Not on!

  6. oceanographer

    Maybe its not such a bad thing. I don’t think that Hammond and May will go considering there’s not much bigger things they can move to. A replacement for Clarkson hasn’t even been suggested yet so I think once they know who the new presenter is they’ll make their decision then. They’re probably partly happy to see Clarkson go in a way.

    • Smart money has it that they will have a new vehicle to join together.

      There will be quite a few production companies looking to snap up the trio.

      So I’m thinking the BBC is not entirely stupid and a deal is trying to be done to keep all three but only use them after Clarkson has appeared to have done enough of his punishment. A bit like the Kerry Packer days when he paid celebrities to do nothing just so the opposition could not use them.

      • They are getting noticeably older-May and Clarkson in particular-how many years are left in them for the physically demanding parts of the show?
        People commenting here also don’t seem to understand the concept of an employee assaulting another employee and the responsibilities of an employer in that case.

      • Probably not gonna happen as his contract has ended and he has now officially been sacked, so Clarkson is a free agent, so are May and Hammond who also have just weeks left on their contracts. You can’t force someone to sign a contract to stop them working else where.

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