James May says Top Gearwithout Jeremy Clarkson just “wouldn’t work”.
The 52-year-old star thinks it’s “virtually impossible” for someone to do a good job of replacing his former co-host, who was fired from the BBC show following a fracas with producer Oisin Tymon last month.
James – who also starred on Top Gear with Richard Hammond – told the MediaGuardian: “Me and (Richard) Hammond with a surrogate Jeremy is a non-starter, it just wouldn’t work … it has to be the three of us. I don’t think you could carry on with two people and put someone in as the new Jeremy because they are not going to be the new Jeremy. That would be short sighted and I don’t think it would work. Virtually impossible.”
The car enthusiast added that he hopes there is a “future” for the three presenters to work together somewhere down the line, and said ”the BBC haven’t completely closed the door” on Jeremy.
James said: “In the future when all this has blown over there might be an opportunity for three of us to get back together on the BBC to do Top Gear or a car show of some sort.
“The BBC haven’t completely closed the door on Jeremy’s return. They’ve not banned him or fired him, only just not renewed his contract for the moment. It’s a subtle difference but an important one.”
Executive producer resigns
Top Gear boss Andy Wilman has resigned.
The 52-year-old executive producer has quit the show after his close friend, presenter Jeremy Clarkson, was axed from the series last month following a fracas with producer Oisin Tymon.
It was first reported Andy was planning to quit the show in March after an email he sent to staff recalling fond memories of his time on the programme was made public, although he denied the rumour at the time.
In the message he wrote: “We had a lot of laughs, we had a lot of tiffs. We went to amazing places and we went to some shitholes.
“We nearly killed a presenter, we had to run for the border. We started off with whoever we could get in the Reasonably Priced Car and ended up with Tom Cruise.”
A spokesperson for the BBC has since confirmed that Andy has handed in his resignation.