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Richard Hammond and James May quit Top Gear 'nine minutes' after Jeremy Clarkson

TVBy Sunday World
Richard Hammond and James May quit Top Gear 'nine minutes' after Jeremy Clarkson

Richard Hammond and James May took "nine minutes" to quit 'Top Gear' after Jeremy Clarkson's departure.

The 56-year-old former 'Top Gear' host - who quit the popular BBC series last year after reportedly verbally attacking a producer - has admitted his colleagues decided they would follow suit and leave the programme moments after Jeremy confirmed he would no longer co-present the show with them.

Speaking on 'The Jonathan Ross Show', which will air on Saturday (12.11.16) on ITV, the television personality said: "There were nine minutes from me leaving the BBC, to Richard and James saying 'Actually we'll come with you.' And they were the happiest nine minutes of my life.

"Honestly, there was never a question of [them staying at the BBC], everybody left, producers, everybody just walked out the door and then we had to get going and that's quite complicated."

And Jeremy - who helmed 'Top Gear' for 13 years since the motoring show first aired in 2002 - has revealed he only watched the "first two" episodes of the revamped series with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc and has hinted he thinks the programme is "different" to how it used to be, although he has to accept his "baby" will change.

He explained: "This is the most political answer I'm ever going to give in my life, it's not for me to comment on the efforts of other people in the same sphere ... They were doing their thing and I watched the first two and thought 'OK they're doing that, we'll carry on doing what we're doing'. I saw the first two because then we went away, but they were doing what they were doing and now they're going to do it again, doing it probably differently. There must be a thousand cookery shows, there's a thousand gardening shows.

"'Top Gear' was very much my baby but now we have another one, it's grown up, it's become adolescent."

Meanwhile Jeremy has admitted it was "incredibly difficult" to come up with a title for the new television series 'The Grand Tour', which he co-presents with Richard and James.

He said: "Names were incredibly difficult because every single combination of letters and numbers you can think of is already registered somewhere in the world by somebody.

"Everyone has conspiracy theories about it but no it was a pure accident. No it wasn't."