James May and Richard Hammond have allegedly turned down a big-money offer from the BBC to return to Top Gear. If they had accepted, it would have meant taping the show without co-host Jeremy Clarkson.
The latest word from the UK has it that the BBC could opt to take a decidedly different route with a post-Clarkson version of Top Gear, with a rotating lineup of hosts. But will Hammond and May be part of the rotation?
A dozen mostly vintage motorcycles from former Top Gear hosts James May and Richard Hammond are crossing the auction block in the UK on April 26. The auction includes a 1970 Triton cafe racer from Hammond and a 1980 Ossa trials bike from May.
Last April the UK press reported that the Top Gear hosts were in line for a new three-year deal through 2018 - one that would pay Clarkson four million pounds per year - but the negotiations were put off during a media watchdog investigation. With that done, the deal is set to go ahead that will lock in new episodes until 2018.
Top Gear has a reputation for many things. Chief among those is its use of staged situations and its uncanny ability to insult cultures and ethnic groups across the world. Occasionally, though, we have to give the team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May the benefit of the doubt.
Top Gear has a habit of poking fun at, um, everyone. Considering that, we find the idea that "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-un is thinking about allowing the world's greatest motoring show onto the ultra-censored screens of North Korea to be kind of surprising. After all, what will happen when Clarkson and Co. crack wise about anything related to the Hermit Kingdom? It won't be good.