Richard Hammond has been disappointingly quiet following his colleague Jeremy Clarkson’s dismissal from Top Gear by the BBC. Unlike James May who told reporters outside his house that he won’t be going back without Clarkson almost immediately after the verdict was announced, Hammond has chosen to keep quiet. Of course, he has followed May with his own “unemployment channel” on YouTube, but not a peep about Top Gear itself, until now.
Taking to Twitter yesterday, Hammond announced that he would not be deserting his “mates” Jeremy Clarkson and James May. His actual words are, “To be clear amidst all this talk of us ‘quitting’ or not: there’s nothing for me to ‘quit’. Not about to quit my mates anyway.”
The tweet suggests the trio is planning future projects together – that will not be Top Gear. It comes after he was picture with his Top Gear co-stars James May and Jeremy yesterday. The co-stars are believed to have had a meeting at Clarkson’s London flat before stepping out together. They were later joined by Top Gear TV Producer Andy Wilman, a long time friend of Clarkson who also recently announced his resignation.
Wilman also wrote a scathing attack on ‘meddling BBC executives’ in a Top Gear Magazine editorial, published today. “[The BBC] hasn’t just lost a man who can hold viewers’ attention in front of a camera, it’s lost a journalist who could use the discipline of print training to focus on what mattered and what didn’t, it’s lost an editorial genius who could look at an existing structure and then smash it up and reshape it in a blaze of light bulb moments’.
He said chiefs at the corporation also originally vetoed hiring May, claiming the three were all ‘middle-class public-schoolish blokes of a similar age’.
‘The BBC grown-ups were adamant a woman should be in the line-up. Now, I’m a big, big fan of the Beeb, but, my God, do they stretch your patience when they start “applying their marketing logic”, or to use another word, meddling.’
‘Their theory behind a female presenter was that if you want women to watch something, you need women presenting it.
‘The problem was that most of the grown-ups in the BBC management didn’t care about the car world, and basically there’s this weird logic whereby the less their interest is in the subject, the greater their compulsion becomes to meddle.’
Sources report that Netflix is trying to court the three (or four) men to create a car-theme program that will bolster its growing line-up of original programming.