But what has caught everyone's attention – everyone except for the radio interviewer, that is – was Clarkson saying that the festival would be "about the only time" he, Hammond and May would work together in 2012 because "there's no Top Gear this year." There's video of the interview below, the bombshell at about 8:10. Since it's all a bit confusing, Mr. Clarkson himself has set the record straight via his personal Twitter account, confirming that Top Gear will return in January of 2013, though there will be a Christmas special some time before that.
The reason petrolheads will be missing out on their BBC fix? Simon Cowell, apparently. "Sunday nights will be full of fat people singing," said Clarkson. "Top Gear is a medium size van. Cowell is a juggernaut. When he has finished his singing competition, our new series will start."