James May details real reason The Grand Tour stars took a break from each other

The Grand Tour: Official trailer for Carnage A Trois

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James May has been joined by Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond since they joined BBC’s popular motoring show Top Gear in the early 2000s. Now in the fourth season of their spiritual successor The Grand Tour on Prime Video, James spoke to Express.co.uk about his upcoming solo projects and why he isn’t always working with his co-stars.

The four-wheeled fanatic admitted it was healthy for the former Top Gear trio to work on their own projects outside of The Grand Tour.

Prime Video’s popular series will return for a brand new special, Carnage A Trois, on Friday 17 December.

Taking a look at some unique French-designed cars, the new episode also features some classic Grand Tour adventures with plenty of bickering along the way.

James explained: “The real reason we’re doing the specials is because that’s the bit we do best.”

“It wasn’t to make space for us to do other things, it’s so that we concentrated our efforts.”

Season four moved onto a slightly different format for The Grand Tour, which previously comprised instalments of weekly episodes set in-studio.

Filming has been restricted to the UK due to coronavirus restrictions, but the new specials still retain the charm of their international adventures during their Top Gear days.

Even so, the new style has allowed more time for the presenters to work on their solo shows for Prime Video.

Jeremy’s farming series Clarkson’s Farm proved a surprise hit this summer, and his Our Man in Japan will soon be followed by a sequel travel show set in Italy.

Meanwhile, Richard Hammond’s Workshop gave fans their first insight into his prestige car restoration projects in Hereford.

James continued: “But we have done a few things.

“Like I’ve done travel and Clarkson’s done farming, and Hammond has done desert island engineering.”

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“I think it probably is quite healthy that we do things individually.”

The presenters’ on-screen dynamic has become ingrained in the British consciousness since James joined Jeremy and Richard on Top Gear in 2003.

Now with nearly two decades worth of television experience together, the trio’s presenting style is as comedic as it is informative.

James explained: “I think that our relationship is so old now, and it’s so established that we are, like it or not, we’re a little bit of a sitcom with characters in.

“And the viewers choose one to identify with. Or two to identify with against the other. It’s quite a simple, childish mechanism that makes the thing work.”

However, he admitted: “It’s probably quite good for us if we go off and film ourselves making sandwiches or wandering around Italy or trying to grow potatoes or whatever. It’s probably quite healthy.”

Jeremy is currently working on the second season of Clarkson’s Farm, and Our Man in Italy is confirmed for next year, so there are plenty of solo and joint adventures from the trio to look forward to.

The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois will be released on Friday, December 17 on Prime Video.

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