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Jeremy Clarkson farm shop to open

Crop Gear: Jeremy Clarkson’s farm shop is now open

Jeremy Clarkson farm shop to open

The opening of a farm shop shouldn’t generate many column inches beyond the parish news or local rag. But most farm shops aren’t owned by Jeremy Clarkson.

His ‘unheated and meat free’ farm shop has now fully opened. As a result, you can expect the roads in and around the Oxfordshire village of Chadlington to be rather busy.

In a tweet on Friday 21 February, The Grand Tour presenter and farmer said: “My farm shop opens tomorrow afternoon. Twitter friendly as it’s unheated and meat free. Do drop in if you’re in the Chipping Norton area.”

When pressed for a precise opening time, Clarkson said: “The afternoon; like I said.” Form an orderly queue around lunchtime…

Last year, Jeremy Clarkson was forced to defend plans to build a shop at Diddly Squat Farm. Locals said the farm shop would have a “negative impact on the landscape”. At the time, Clarkson told the BBC: “I really know I’m not doing anything wrong or anything that would hurt the village.”

West Oxfordshire District Council granted planning permission last year, with approval granted on the proviso that the shop can only sell produce grown on-site or by West Oxfordshire producers. When asked whether he has grown the produce himself, Clarkson tweeted: “All of it.”

Top Beer

Jeremy Clarkson

This comes ahead of Clarkson’s new Amazon show which has the working title of ‘I Bought The Farm’. The eight-part series will see the former Top Gear presenter and “inept townie” attempting to run the 1,000-acre working farm. 

In a video released in October 2019, Jeremy Clarkson said: “Good news! I can finally confirm that I’m going to be spending the next year, in the rain, making a show about farming.

“This means people all over the world will be able to watch me using a thousand acres of the Cotswolds to make thousands of tons of beer, and bread, and vegetable oil, and lamb chops, and jumpers.”

Needless to say, the grand opening is likely to have been filmed for Amazon. For those who attended, it could be their chance to meet a star at a reasonably priced farm shop…  

See: where is Diddly Squat Farm?

Also see:

Jeremy Clarkson’s cars of the year 2019

See the Top Gear cars from the Nepal special at Beaulieu

50 years of the truck Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t kill

The Grand Tour season 4: first trailer released

The Grand Tour season four trailer

The trailer for season four of The Grand Tour is here, previewing the first in a series of feature-length specials. The ‘big three’ ex-Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, famously abandoned their traditional studio format at the end of the previous series, favouring themed ‘adventure’ episodes.

The first takes place in Cambodia and Vietnam, as the trio cross the Mekong Delta. It’s called The Grand Tour presents: Seamen. As the title suggests, transport will be via boats rather than cars – and we all know how well that usually goes. We fully expect the seamen to become swimmers…

“We are excited to announce the launch date for The Grand Tour presents: Seamen, the first of our epic adventure specials from Prime Video’s much-loved trio, Clarkson, Hammond and May,” said Georgia Brown of Amazon, which streams the series via its Prime service.

“We know fans love to see the guys take on these incredible adventures across exotic locations and The Grand Tour presents: Seamen does just that – this feature length special promises to be a thrilling off-road escapade, full of challenges and jeopardy, climaxing in one of the most dangerous and exciting challenges Jeremy, Richard and James may have ever endured – viewers are in for a rocky ride!”

The boat choices are as you might expect. Clarkson has opted for a military patrol boat, Hammond has gone for a speedboat and May has a relaxed river cruiser. Amazon says the end of the film contains ‘one of the most dangerous and exciting challenges’ the team have ever faced.

Get a taste for what’s to come with the above trailer. The first episode of The Grand Tour season four will be available to watch on Friday 13 December.

The Grand Tour season 3 review: if you like it, watch it. If you don’t, don’t

The Grand Tour season three episode one

I’m going to come straight to the point: I’ve never really seen much value in a review of a television show. Which might seem like a strange admission at the beginning of a piece focused on examining the first episode of season three of The Grand Tour, but hear me out on this.

The return of the #amazonshitcarshow – clever hashtag, guys, very clever – will guarantee at least three things. The Guardian will post a largely negative review. The tabloids will revel in the show’s silliness. And Prime Video’s viewing figures will shoot through the roof.

I was asked to watch the first episode and then provide my thoughts. There are clicks at stake here and everybody is hoping to hitchhike on the back of the bandwagon that will be streamrollering online viewing figures for the coming weeks and months.

There ain’t much room on this wagon, so be prepared to get cosy with your neighbour if you’re taking a ride.

Detroit Spinners

May Hammond Clarkson

Which brings me back to point about being asked to review The Grand Tour. I’m not complaining – spending the first hour of a Friday morning watching Clarkson, Hammond and May mess about in Detroit was fine by me. But, honestly, do you care what I think?

Put it this way. If you enjoyed the first two seasons, you’ll undoubtedly love series three. As teasers go, the near-on two-minute montage at the beginning of episode one is pretty conclusive. And it scores points for the use of Do the Strand by Roxy Music.

If there’s one thing The Grand Tour does very well, it’s delivering a balance between the sensational and the incidentals. The muscle cars in Detroit segment is a feast for the ears and eyes – the sound of Hammond’s Demon echoing off the crumbling walls of ‘Motor City’ is a particular highpoint.

But the smaller reference points remain at the heart of what makes The Grand Tour tick. Even the demise of the celebrity segment is brushed aside courtesy of a sharp but cruel reference to Howard from the Halifax ads and Adrian Chiles. Not that the global audience will have a clue who they are. Google it.

Which is something you’ll be doing a lot following the first episode. Whether it’s watching footage of rock concerts at the Michigan Building on YouTube, trawling through images of the Conner Avenue assembly plant in its heyday, or wandering through the suburbs of Detroit on Google Street View, you’ll almost certainly lose another hour or so on the net.

So that’s your Friday afternoon sorted.

Happy little plants

Jeremy Clarkson in Detroit

I’m sure the detractors will make some wisecracks about three old farts hurtling through a once rich and powerful town as some kind of metaphor for The Grand Tour’s tried and tested formula. And that’s their prerogative.

But if, within the first few minutes of the show, you’re not enjoying it, why not switch it off and watch The Man in the High Castle? Or The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.

The Grand Tour exists to make people happy. “Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news,” as the painter with the big hair once said.

The Grand Tour season 3: what we know so far

The Grand Tour season three

At the time of writing, the official trailer for The Grand Tour season 3 had been viewed more than two million times on YouTube. Not bad for a two-minute video published at the end of November. 

“Oh Jesus, I’m shaking all over,” says Richard Hammond as he crosses a rickety bridge in Colombia, before his Chevy Silverado grinds to a halt when he’s only halfway across.

Cue the laughter from his ever-supportive co-presenters as, with a huge dollop of irony, Joe Cocker’s epic version of With a Little Help from My Friends starts playing in the background to deliver a rousing soundtrack for what may be the final series of The Grand Tour in its present format.

Even as a 1min 49sec trailer, The Grand Tour passes Mark Kermode’s ‘six laughs test’ with flying colours. Or maybe we’ve been overcome with nostalgia having listened to what must be one of the greatest cover versions of all-time. It’s time to dig out The Wonder Years boxset.

The Grand Tour returns 18 January

But back to The Grand Tour, which returns to Amazon Prime on 18 January for a run of 14 shows, culminating in the final episode on the 2 April. Much of the information we have is embargoed, but if you enjoyed the Top Gear specials of old, you’re probably going to love season 3 of The Grand Tour.

There’s more good news if you weren’t a fan of the celebrity segments in series one and two because the guests have been killed off. In an interview with wheels.ca, James May said: “We’ve ditched the guests because they weren’t that popular. And we realised that we could spend more time on the films if we ditched the guests.

“So the guests got the bullet, I’m afraid.”

You have eyes, so you don’t need us to talk you through the trailer, but the sight of Clarkson, Hammond and May driving to Scotland in three Italian classics is certain to raise the spirits. That’s assuming the Alfa Romeo GTV6, Fiat X1/9 and Lancia Gamma Coupe don’t end up at the bottom of a loch or sent flying off the top of a Scottish mountain.

We suspect not, given the fact that the Alfa appears to be a low-mileage example with a very clean MOT history. News of the Lancia is less positive – the MOT expired in September 2018…

In an interview with RTE2fm, Clarkson said that filming for the new series passed without injuries or being chased to the border, having previously said that the specials in Mongolia and Colombia were particularly huge.

You can see snippets from the Colombia special in the trailer, with Clarkson in a Jeep Wrangler, Hammond in a Silverado and May, perhaps predictably, in a Fiat Panda 4×4. “Colombia turned out to be big,” said Clarkson.

What else do we know? Well, the McLaren Senna makes an appearance, while Clarkson goes head-to-head with Abbie Eaton in a battle between the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche 911 Turbo.

Episode one: Motown Funk

The Grand Tour season three episode one

In episode one, Clarkson, Hammond and May head to Detroit, where they are ‘horrified to discover that this once-great motor city is a shadow of its former self and devotes more energy to making organic kale than oversized V8s’.

The aim: to re-establish Detroit as a playground for people who’d rather talk about superchargers than spinach.

Enter the Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and Hennessey Exorcist Camaro. The action plays out on the streets, in an old theatre, at an abandoned car factory and on a local airfield.

Meanwhile, Clarkson drives the 789hp McLaren Senna around Thruxton, because it’s too fast for the Eboladome.

What about season 4?

Hammond Clarkson May 2019

When season 3 draws to a close in April, the trio will ditch the tent and develop their own shows for Amazon’s Prime Video service. “The Grand Tour is a worldwide hit and fan favourite,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video.

“We’re proud to say that Prime Video will continue to be the home for Jeremy, Richard and James. They’ve got some ambitious new ideas that Prime members are going to love. We’re excited to be bringing more Clarkson, Hammond and May to Prime Video for years to come.”

Which means more one-off episodes in the style of the old Top Gear specials, plus individual shows created by Clarkson, Hammond and May. No celebrities, no news, no tent – it all sounds rather positive for fans of the show.

The Grand Tour Game

The Grand Tour Game artwork

And if that’s not enough, you can play The Grand Tour Game, with new content added weekly during season three of the show.

The game – available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – puts players behind the wheel of the cars from season three and allows them to race at various locations, including the Eboladrome. “It’s a video game featuring me, the crashy one, and the slow one. That’s all you need to know,” said Clarkson.

“If you’ve always wanted to come on the road with us, this is as close as you’ll ever get. Unless you kidnap James and steal his face.”

The game costs £11.99 and is available – just in time for episode one of series 3.

Alternatively, renew your Amazon Prime membership and prepare for 14 episodes of The Grand Tour. You’ll be in good company. As we conclude this news item, the trailer has clocked up another 5,000 views and counting.

The Grand Tour Season 3

The Grand Tour season 3: what we know so far

The Grand Tour Season 3

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will return with their solid-gold formula of motoring and banter for season three of The Grand Tour. The first episode of the Amazon Prime original series airs in January, and the second teaser is here, following the debut of the first trailer last month.

The second trailer is rather different, less action-packed and really rather devoid of content from the series itself. Indeed, it was only posted on TGT’s Twitter page. It’s definitely more of a teaser, designed to announce when the first episode of the new season is to air and remind us there’s less than a month to go. We find the boys sat in a cafe with the sound of a ticking clock with Clarkson tapping out some tweets. ‘One month to go’, ‘new season 18 January’ follows.

Standard silly teaser fare from the big three, we think. This all follows rumours and speculation about what the future of the series is. It is to go on into season 4, albeit without the studio tents. ‘Prime Video will continue to be the home of Jeremy, Richard and James for years to come’ is stated in ‘a note from Amazon’. ‘Season four will see the guys ditch the tent to take on big adventure road trips that we know Prime members love’.  

It wouldn’t seem right if Hammond wasn’t risking his life in some way, so naturally the preview opens with him tentatively crossing a very rickety bridge in a far-away jungle, driving a flame-splattered Chevy truck.

Among the madness, we spy Clarkson giving the McLaren Senna a good spanking, as well as three of America’s latest and greatest mega-muscle cars in the heat of battle.

The rest is quintessential Top Gear and The Grand Tour – fast cars going sideways, silly challenges, quite a lot of fire, even more bickering and everything else in between. The boys will be travelling all over the world – grand touring, as it were. They’ve taken the mayhem as far as Colombia, Detroit, Nevada, Mongolia, Scotland and Sweden.

The new shows begin on January 18th 2019, joining the first two seasons on Amazon Prime Video.

Read more:

The Grand Tour Game

The Grand Tour video game lets you race against Jeremy Clarkson

The Grand Tour GameEver watch The Grand Tour and wish it was you behind the wheel, smoking the rears of a 1,000hp hypercar at Portimao circuit? Well, wish no more. Provided you have an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 console, The Grand Tour Game is here to sate your cravings for supercar buffoonery.

Images and video from the game show famous Grand Tour machines such as P1 OOV (the McLaren P1 press car), the Rimac Concept One (as crashed by Hammond), Porsche 918 Spyder and indeed the Lada fire engine.

Xbox vs PlayStation: how to be a (virtual) racer

The game seems to be more of an arcade racer than the last word in driving simulation, with ‘power-ups’ available. ‘High tea’ mode, meanwhile, spreads cups and saucers across the track to shred opponents tyres. Think bananas in Mario Kart…

As for the boys, they’re obviously integral to the TGT experience, and this is also true of the game. They feature as opponents, with original voice acting to boot.

A four-player split screen option is a clever inclusion by developer Amazon Game Studios, given racing titles of recent years have favoured online multiplayer modes instead. Graphics-wise, it won’t worry Forza Motorsport 7 or Gran Turismo Sport, but it looks decent.

The Grand Tour GameNaturally Clarkson, Hammond and May had a few things to say about the game.

“It’s a video game featuring me, the crashy one, and the slow one. That’s all you need to know,” said Jeremy Clarkson. “If you’ve always wanted to come on the road with us, this is as close as you’ll ever get. Unless you kidnap James and steal his face.”

“If you’ve ever wanted to do my job, now you can,” said James May. “Obviously not literally, it’s just a game, so please don’t go through the drawers of my desk.”

“I live in the deep countryside, so frankly I’m impressed by anything that runs on electricity,” said Richard Hammond. “But I have to admit this game is particularly brilliant, especially the four-player split screen.”

To find out more about The Grand Tour Game, click here.

Read more:

Richard Hammond Citroen Saxo VTS

Richard Hammond has bought a Citroen Saxo VTS – and we’re jealous

Richard Hammond Citroen Saxo VTS

If the current episode of The Grand Tour is anything to go by, Richard Hammond is about to nip out and steal a chainsaw… in a Citroen Saxo VTS.

According to Amazon Prime’s clever X-Ray feature – which provides extra information about what you’re watching on screen – Hammond loves the Saxo VTS so much that, after the show was filmed, he went out and bought one. The lucky so-and-so.

During ‘Conversation Street’, the presenters were charting the rapid fall in numbers of Citroen’s hot hatch, which had dropped from around 4,500 in 2008 to 491 when the episode was filmed. We’ve just checked the latest figures, and they show that the number on the road has now fallen to 464 –with 946 declared as off the road.

Fabulous, proper and fizzy

“By 2019 they’ll all have gone,” said the ‘Hamster’, which was enough to see him off to the classifieds in an attempt to save the “fabulous, proper, fizzy little hatchback” from extinction. Good man.

That he loves the Citroen Saxo VTS so much should come as no surprise. In his days as a presenter on Men & Motors, Hammond pitched the French tearaway against a Caterham Super 7 Sprint, before driving home in the Citroen.

Weirdly, in a different episode, former radio presenter and drag racer, Dave Lee Travis – aka the ‘Hairy Cornflake’ – proclaimed the Saxo VTS to be “the closest you can get to an old-school GTI”. High praise indeed.

Later, in 2008, Hammond named the Saxo VTS as one of the ‘best second-hand boy-racer bargains’, saying it’s “another belter from Les Francais. The Saxo VTS is virtually a cult car among the young and to see why, you only need to drive one.

“It looks cute, with reasonable performance and good handling.”

This isn’t the first time Richard Hammond has bought a Saxo VTS. In series 18 of Top Gear, he paid £550 for a 1999 model and went racing against Clarkson and May. Sadly, the car’s MOT expired in 2012, so we can only assume that it has gone to the great rallycross track in the sky.

The Price is right

The hot Saxo’s fall from grace is hardly surprising. The Saxo VTS, with its 120hp 1.6-litre 16v engine, developed a bit of an image problem: a kind of hot Nova for a new generation. Lads believed that a Saxo VTS and a pumping stereo was the key to getting a girl undressed.

Citroen didn’t help matters when it asked Katie Price, AKA Jordan, to perch on the bonnet of its four-wheeled bra remover.

Citroen Saxo VTS and Jordan

It meant that – for all of its qualities as a typically French hot hatch – polite, gentle folk stayed away from the Saxo VTS, allowing it to spiral into the abyss. On the flip-side, this means values are stupidly low, so you needn’t spend more than £1,000 to secure a good one.

Compare and contrast with the values of other French heroes – most notably the Peugeot 205 GTi, Renault 5 GT Turbo and Peugeot 106 Rallye – and the Saxo VTS looks a bit of a bargain. Prices won’t stay this low forever.

Take a leaf out of Hammond’s book: rescue a Citroen Saxo VTS today. You won’t regret it. Just don’t let a girl called Katie sit on the bonnet.

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May’s Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

If this Rolls-Royce Dawn looks familiar, that’s because it starred in episode three of The Grand Tour. “Captained” by Captain Slow, James May, it was driven around Tuscany where Clarkson tried to convince May that it’s little more than a BMW 7-Series in a fancy suit. It comes after Matt LeBlanc drove the very same car in the latest series of Top Gear.

Our road test of this unreasonably-priced car (£264,000, since you’re asking) is going to be a more conventional affair. No townsfolk will be asked for their opinions and at no point will we elect to “settle this with a race”. That’s simply not the Dawn’s style, as we soon discover…

What are its rivals?02_Dawn

Tell Rolls-Royce its car is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet or Maserati GranCabrio and be prepared for a withering look worthy of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. Rolls draws a distinction between ‘premium’ and ‘luxury’, with the Dawn falling very firmly into the latter category.

As such, its closest rival is the Bentley Continental GTC, although Sir might also consider the Ferrari California T if Sir fancies something sportier.

What engines does it use?03_Dawn

With 571 hp, the Dawn is actually more powerful than Rolls-Royce’s flagship convertible: the Phantom Drophead Coupe. Its mighty 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 blasts this 2.6-tonne land yacht to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, plus a limited top speed of 155mph.

“There are a lot of numbers I could quote on this car,” says James May on The Grand Tour, “but I’m not going to because that would be, frankly, uncouth.” Let us be uncouth for a moment: it produces 571hp, will hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds and is limited to 155mph.

Driving the Dawn in rural Tuscany, May describes the Dawn as “serene”. We concur, although our detour through the traffic-clogged lanes of south-east England was somewhat more stressful. It’s difficult to ‘make progress’ (as driving instructors say) when your car takes up more than half the road…

What’s it like to drive?04_Dawn

Inevitably, the Dawn’s sheer size has an impact on how you drive it. Put simply, it’s an incredibly relaxing way to travel… until you have to park. Yes, our car had the optional 360-degree camera system, it’s still no easy task.

The Dawn isn’t as sporting as Rolls-Royce would have you believe. Its strength lies in cosseting comfort, with light controls, effortless performance and a pillowy ride – even on optional 21-inch wheels. The sense of occasion as you follow that – solid silver – Spirit of Ecstasy down the road is unmatched.

Fuel economy and running costs05_Dawn

You do know this is a 571 hp V12, right? Besides, enquiring about running costs seems a touch vulgar here. If you have to ask, darling…

Fittingly, James May made no mention of the Dawn’s appetite for super unleaded in his review. Us? We couldn’t even scrape the official 20mpg, despite a varied test-route that included plenty of motorway cruising. CO2 emissions of 330g/km put the Rolls in the top bracket for car tax, meaning you pay £1,100 in the first year and £505 a year thereafter.

Is it practical?06_Dawn

Rolls-Royce owners typically own seven or eight cars already, so nobody will use a Dawn as their only means of transport (even if there is something delightfully decadent about that idea).

The cabin is faultlessly-finished, although the ‘Arctic White’ leather is hardly the most practical choice. Definitely more Hermosa Beach than Henley-on-Thames. There’s genuinely enough space for six-footers in the back, with easy access through the rear-hinged doors. Unfortunately, the boot isn’t so suited to grand touring. It has a narrow opening and its 295-litre capacity is less than some superminis.

What about safety?07_Dawn

Size matters when it comes to crash-safety, so you’re unlikely to have any worries here. Apart from the repair bill, obviously. The Dawn’s exclusivity means it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but you have the full suite of BMW safety systems at your disposal, including hydraulic brake assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

And don’t worry about the Spirit of Ecstasy – it retracts quickly behind the grille if needed – or if a potential accident is detected.

Which version should I go for?08_Dawn

So, petrol or diesel, automatic or manual, SE or SRi? The Rolls-Royce Dawn buyer faces none of these conundrums, although they can opt for the fixed-roof version in the shape of the Wraith coupe.

Instead, there’s a long options list, including everything from an uplit Spirit of Ecstasy to whitewall tyres. With enough time and money, you can customise every aspect of the Dawn to your own personal taste – or lack of. To make your job easier, Rolls-Royce also offers a range of off-the-shelf option packs.

Should I buy one?09_Dawn

There’s no rational case to be made for buying a Rolls-Royce Dawn. The aforementioned Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet is a better car in many respects – and at least £70,000 cheaper.

However, for the ultimate in open-air luxury, nothing quite matches the Dawn. It turns heads like a lime-green Lamborghini, yet you can also put the hood up and waft along in isolated silence. And it transforms every journey into a special event, with qualities that transcend its high price.

Pub fact10_Dawn

The first Rolls-Royce to carry the Dawn name – albeit unofficially – was this special edition Silver Ghost. Built in 1908, the ‘Silver Dawn’ was originally the property of one Charles H. Angus, and spent the first part of its life in Australia.

In 2013, after a full restoration, the car took part in the gruelling 1,800-mile Centenary Alpine Trail. It was then put on display at Rolls-Royce HQ in Goodwood.

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

The Grand Tour: everything we know so far

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

Amazon has announced that The Grand Tour will be available to watch on its Prime streaming service from 00:01 GMT on Friday 18th November.

It comes after months of filming including studio recordings in its tent around the world – from Whitby, Yorkshire, to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

What do we know about The Grand Tour?

For a start, excitement reached fever pitch with the release of the first official trailer. In just 90 seconds, the trailer passes the Mark Kermode ‘six laughs test’, suggesting The Grand Tour might be worth the extremely long wait. In fact, it feels like they never really went away…

There are cars, obviously, but there’s so much more besides. James May has fractured his arm. Jeremy Clarkson is attempting to pull a camel. There’s a tank. Jet skis. Not to mention a reference to Roger Moore and his white suit, in a setting that looks straight out of The Spy Who Loved Me. Excited? Read on to find out what else we know about The Grand Tour.

It won’t be on mainstream TV

Following Clarkson’s ‘fracas’, which led to the trio leaving the BBC, there was much speculation about where they’d appear next. Some expected them to appear on rival TV channels ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5 – but a clause in their contracts reportedly meant they wouldn’t be able to appear on a mainstream TV channel.

It’ll be shown on Amazon

The clause didn’t apply to online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, however – which partly explains why the trio will be appearing on Amazon’s Instant Video service.

It’ll be called The Grand Tour…

The Grand Tour: what we know so far

Another point that attracted a great deal of speculation was the name of the show. Many expected it to be called ‘Gear Knobs’ following a trademark application by a firm linked to the show, but Clarkson quickly quashed the rumours. A lawyer reportedly told the trio that it would be ‘unwise’ to use a name so close to Top Gear.

…because it is a ‘grand tour’

So why is The Grand Tour (or GT for short – the reverse of TG) called The Grand Tour? Simple, really – because it is a grand tour. Originally the series was expected to be filmed in countries around the world without a studio segment – but now a studio segment is expected, shot in tents in those various locations.

James May wanted to call it ‘Nigel’ or ‘Roger’

Not everyone approves of the name – with some suggesting it’s a tad dull. Even James May admitted it wasn’t his first choice of name… “I wanted to call it ‘Nigel’, or ‘Roger’,” he said. “We needed a name, and they’re names.”

It’ll be filmed around the world

It’ll be filmed around the world

An episode of The Grand Tour has already been shot in Johannesburg, South Africa, while other episodes are expected to be filmed in the UK, Germany and the USA. As expected, the big green tent has been erected in Yorkshire.

This is what the logo looks like

The official logo was leaked on Reddit in June, with Richard Hammond confirming on Facebook that it was correct. He said: “Right, well, that saves us the bother of thinking up a clever way to unveil our new show’s logo: It has leaked. Not in the way my Landie leaks oil or James May leaks if he laughs or goes on a trampoline, I mean leaks as in the secret is out.

“Serves us right for trying to secure a European trademark. All things European proving a little tricky this week.”

The Grand Tour’s production company is called W. Chump and Sons

Following the trio’s departure from the BBC, they established a TV production company along with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman. The firm, which is responsible for The Grand Tour, is based in London and features the initial letters of its directors’ surnames in its name.

…and it owns four Reliant Robin company cars

...and it owns four Reliant Robin company cars

Naturally, while looking for offices in London, the company put ‘generous parking space’ high on its list of priorities. It then filled some of those parking spaces with four Reliant Robins, bought as company cars for the four directors. They cost ‘less than £15,000’ and, Clarkson insists, they’re used regularly.

James May hurt his finger during filming

Although not quite as big a deal as Hammond’s jet-powered crash during Top Gear filming in 2006, James May is thought to have hurt his finger during filming for The Grand Tour. Clarkson tweeted that he had a ‘poorly finger’.

Jeremy Clarkson has struggled to find steak

Clarkson was famously sacked from Top Gear following a ‘fracas’ when a hotel refused to serve him steak because the chef had gone home. It seems that nothing has changed with filming of The Grand Tour, as he tweeted this picture with the caption: “People of South Africa. What is this nonsense?”

It will feature a Ford Focus RS

It will feature a Ford Focus RS

Although there’s expected to be the usual amount of ‘messing around’ between the presenters, The Grand Tour is ultimately a car show. We don’t know exactly which cars will appear, but Clarkson tweeted this picture of the new Ford Focus RS and Ford Mustang.

And ‘our’ Rolls-Royce Dawn

He also tweeted a picture of James May in a Rolls-Royce Dawn that looks suspiciously like the one Matt LeBlanc drove on Top Gear (and, more importantly, Motoring Research also drove earlier this year).

As well as the Aston Martin DB11

Aston’s DB9 replacement is expected to be one of the hottest cars of 2016, and Clarkson also revealed on Twitter that he’d been driving it. “It’s going to be a brutal day on the Grand Tour,” he said. “I’m driving an Aston Martin DB11 across Tuscany.”

The Grand Tour cost Amazon £160m

Although Amazon has never revealed how much it paid to bag The Grand Tour, it’s believed to be in the region of £160 million. That’s one of Amazon’s biggest deals ever.

The Grand Tour will be shown in autumn

The Grand Tour will be shown in autumn

Amazon Prime has confirmed the show will stream weekly from 18th November 2016. So you don’t have long to wait.

There’ll be 36 episodes

You’ll be pleased to know Clarkson, Hammond and May are unlikely to ‘do an Evans’ – they’re all contracted for 36 episodes, split up into three series. If they’re successful, Amazon’s likely to extend that.

It’ll cost £79 to watch it

Amazon will be hoping The Grand Tour will be a big seller for its Prime video service – as you’ll need to subscribe to watch the new show. It costs £79 a year, or you can pay £7.99 a month – and new members get a 30-day free trial. Sign up to that closer to the launch date and you’ll be able to watch several episodes for nothing.

There won’t be a Stig

Although the format is expected to be very similar to Top Gear, certain features including The Stig and Star in a Reasonably Priced Car belong to the BBC – so for copyright reasons, they won’t appear on The Grand Tour.

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Amazon has announced this morning that it’s taking The Grand Tour to Scotland – and invited fans to apply for tickets to its tent on the banks of Loch Ness.

It comes after Clarkson, Hammond and May filmed an episode in Whitby last month – returning to the county where the infamous Top Gear ‘fracas’ took place.

“We can’t wait to bring The Grand Tour tent back to the UK,” said VP of Amazon Video Europe, Jay Marine. “The guys had a great time filming in Whitby last month and we’re excited to bring the tent to Scotland. Demand for tickets to all recordings has been phenomenal with applications coming in from around the globe, so get in quick for an opportunity to join Jeremy, James and Richard at this monster location.”

The Grand Tour will be available to watch on Amazon Prime from 18th November, with new episodes being released every week for 12 weeks.

The ex-Top Gear trio have been travelling around the world with their pop-up studio – visiting exotic locations including Johannesburg, California, Whitby and Rotterdam.

Lapland, Stuttgart and Nashville will also be visited by the big tent.

Fans can apply for tickets until midnight on Friday 4th November and successful applicants will be contacted over the next few weeks.