After the notorious fracas that shook BBC Top Gear and the dissolution of the fan-favorite trio of presenters from the BBC, executive producer Andy Wilman and the three amigos went to Amazon. At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, long-time Jeremy Clarkson buddy Andy Wilman shared a few behind-the-scenes details on the long-awaited new car show and Top Gear.
The interview at the end of this story is 34 minutes long, but it’s worth watching it end-to-end with considerable attention to the EP’s body language. From a mile away, it’s as clear as day that Andy regrets letting Top Gear go, but he also happens to be very excited about his new project at Amazon.
Andy Wilman let it slip that The Grand Tour will have a news segment just like on Top Gear, but for legal reasons, Jeremy and the other two cannot refer to it as The News. There’s no Stig either, duh, but what’s even more curious is that James May’s ability to say c**k without the fear of a lawsuit is now a reality. According to Wilman, the BBC took legal aspects to a “hilarious” level.
Here is a tell-tale excerpt from the interview:
“They got funnier and funnier. We went to Namibia to make a big film [a.k.a. first episode of The Grand Tour]. The lawyers got out a film we had done in Botswana [Top Gear S10 E4]. The lawyers go through everything and they said, ‘There’s a scene where you’re in the middle of the Okavango and you go, “This scenery is beautiful”, so watch that you don’t do that.'”
Isn’t that the most stupid thing you’ve ever heard regarding legal dos and don’ts? But wait, there’s even more! “So we were in the desert in Namibia and we had to go, ‘for legal reasons, this scenery is s**t,’” Wilman added. Don’t know about you, but the BBC’s potential efforts to hinder The Grand Tour only make the new car show funnier, as in much, much better than what the once-great Top Gear was before the all-new-and-not-too-good format.
For more info on that and much more, including the last days of Top Gear’s golden era, press play. Here’s a little spoiler alert: the giant green tent for the studio bits of The Grand Tour was Jeremy Clarkson’s idea.