Yesterday, we heard The Grand Tour Executive Producer Andy Wilman's comments about dealing with the BBC while preparing Amazon's new show. Now, The Telegraph has more detail from Wilman's Edinburgh International Television Festival appearance, and to hear him tell it, the lengths his team went to in order to please the Beeb's lawyers is truly absurd. We suggested in yesterday's piece that negotiations about James May's ability to say "cock" without fear of a lawsuit might be hyperbole. But things were that bad, with Wilman saying the BBC took things to a "hilarious" level.

"They got funnier and funnier. We went to Namibia to make a big film," Wilman explained. "The lawyers got out a film we had done [for Top Gear] in Botswana. The lawyers go through everything and they said, 'There's a scene in [Top Gear] where you're in the middle of the Okavango and you go, "This scenery is beautiful", so watch that you don't do that.'"

"So we were in the desert in Namibia and we had to go, "for legal reasons, this scenery is shit'," Wilman said. Wow. But it gets worse. According to The Telegraph, The Grand Tour can't have a test track or record lap times the same way as Top Gear.

"There's [a leaderboard], but we can't have handwritten stuff, that's all got to change for the lawyers. We still test cars and stuff though," Wilman said, adding that the show can't call its news segment "The News."

Meanwhile, Wilman also elaborated on the "perfect storm" leading up to the fracas heard round the world. According to Deadline Hollywood, Wilman, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond never adjusted to Top Gear's monstrous success, saying the team was "collapsing under the weight."

"Everything became personal and confrontational. When everything went to shit in March, there was no way back because it was going to be a victory for somebody [at the BBC]; it wasn't going to be a resolution and I think some people didn't have the will to make it work on the management side," Wilman said.

"I didn't have the maturity," Top Gear's former EP added, acknowledging that the Top Gear team was far from innocent for the frosty relationship between the two sides. "There should have been a realization. We'd been investigated internally. There was a finding that we had a broken relationship. I think you start from that broken relationship because there's no point in killing the show. But my point is, we were to blame too."

You can check out Wilman's entire 34-minute chat at the Edinburgh TV festival in the video above, where he riffs on what it's like to work for Amazon – he calls the network's demand for 4K, HDR filming a nightmare while saluting the company on its catering – and calls the £4M-per-episode cost "bollocks." It's a funny and entertaining video that gives fans a chance to get to know The Grand Tour's behind-the-scenes maestro.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X