James May, one of the now former presenters of Top Gear, has ruled out returning to the show after the BBC failed to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract. The contracts of May and the show’s third host Richard Hammond expired alongside Clarkson’s and though Hammond has yet to discuss his future on the show, May has now ruled out a return without Clarkson. May was speaking with The Guardian when he ruled out returning to Top Gear without his former co-host and comes amid growing speculation as to whether or not he and Richard Hammond would be returning to the show.
“Me and Hammond with a surrogate Jeremy is a non-starter, it just wouldn’t work. That would be lame, or ‘awks’ as young people say. It has to be the three of us. You can’t just put a surrogate Jeremy in and expect it to carry on. It would be forced. I don’t believe they would be stupid enough to try that.”
In the interview, May said that it would be extremely difficult to do Top Gear without Clarkson, as he was one of, if not the, major drawing points for the show, which has been incredibly successful since it was launched with Clarkson, Hammond and May.
“It would be a bloody tough call to do Top Gear without Jeremy, that would be a bit of a daft idea. I don’t think you could carry on with two people and put someone in as the new Jeremy because they are not going to be the new Jeremy. That would be short sighted and I don’t think it would work. Virtually impossible.”
May has also noted that Jeremy Clarkson hasn’t exactly been fired or banned from the BBC, and that there may yet be hope for Top Gear to come back with all three hosts.
“In the future when all this has blown over there might be an opportunity for three of us to get back together on the BBC to do Top Gear or a car show of some sort. The BBC haven’t completely closed the door on Jeremy’s return. They’ve not banned him or fired him, only just not renewed his contract for the moment. It’s a subtle difference but an important one.”
Since filming for the show stopped abruptly, May has taken to Twitter in order to air how bored he is at all of the extra spare time he has.
I’ve written some blues lyrics: Oh I woke up this morning, And…. #StillUnemployed
— James May (@MrJamesMay) March 27, 2015