Top Gear fans rejoice. Sort of. Jeremy Clarkson and his sidekicks, Richard Hammond and James May, are still coming to Australia with a live stage show, but it’s been postponed until July and will no longer be associated with the hit TV show.
The shake up comes in the wake of Clarkson’s sacking from Top Gear last week following his alleged assault on a producer.
BBC Worldwide announced on Wednesday that the world tour will proceed, but without the Top Gear name or BBC branding. It will be renamed Clarkson, Hammond and May Live.
“So as not to disappoint the thousands of people around the world who have already purchased tickets, BBC Worldwide has agreed with our joint venture partner Brand Events that the remainder of the tour can continue,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement. “We believe this is a sensible approach in the circumstances.”
The show was due to begin in a couple of weeks, and will move from outdoors to an indoor arena show, staged in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on 18-19 July, and All Phones Arena in Sydney on 25-26 July.
Full details for Australia will be released on April 10, Brand Events said, including a new date for ticket sales. Existing ticket holders will be given a chance to exchange or get a refund.
Organisers said that the move indoors will result in some changes to the show, but they still expect “plenty of the stunts, supercars, challenges and the irreverent humour you know and love from the trio”.
The loss of the BBC’s support means The Stig won’t be involved and clips from the show can’t be used.
The future of the 13-year-old TV series remains in doubt, with the intentions of Hammond and May unclear, and this week an email emerged from executive producer Andy Wilman, which some took as his resignation, although he denies he’s leaving the BBC and the show.
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