The future of Top Gear still lingers in Purgatory following the very public scandal wherein host Jeremy Clarkson reportedly verbally and physically assaulted one of the show’s producers.
But while we don’t know if (or more likely, where) we’ll ever again see Clarkson appear with co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, we do know that the BBC has finished shooting the final Hammond/May segments necessary to complete the last few episodes of the show’s 22nd season. That news comes by way of the UK’s Telegraph, although the report contains no mention of when those episodes might air.
Following the BBC’s decision to not renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract past the 22nd season, the network had still hoped to keep the Top Gear program alive, continuing to utilize Richard Hammond and James May as co-hosts, while cycling through a list of notable BBC personalities in Clarkson’s vacant chair. With the recent news that Hammond and May had each been offered about £1 million per year to stay with the program, the Telegraph reports that Rupert Adams, a spokesman for bookmaker William Hill, stated the following:
“Just a week ago we were offering 5/1 for them to return for another series of Top Gear, but following news of the sums that have been offered to the pair, we have slashed the odds to 5/4.”
In other words, Top Gear as we know it – minus Clarkson – isn’t necessarily dead. However, former Top Gear Executive Producer Andy Wilman, who remains good friends with Jeremy Clarkson, has recently left the show. Additionally, rumors continue to circulate that Clarkson, Hammond, and May might find a new home on Netflix, if not on another British broadcasting network.
So our advice is: enjoy the final few episodes of the BBC’s Top Gear while you can; we simply don’t know when or where the three charismatic co-hosts will resurface.