Kurt Verlin
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‘The Grand Tour’ Comes to an End…Sorta

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I was a little late to the party, but when I finally watched the last episode of The Grand Tour Season 3 this weekend, I was sad to learn that the show would no longer go on.

After a long segment devoted to the discontinued Ford Mondeo, the camera cut back as usual to Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May in the tent where they host their weekly audience. Except this time, Clarkson couldn’t hide the tears in his eyes.

Holding back sobs, he announced that this was “the end.” The three men would no longer be doing the show, and to mark the event, they played a short montage of their adventures over their 17 years together, both on Amazon’s The Grand Tour and BBC’s Top Gear.


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It was emotional to watch. It’s not often you see famous TV presenters cry, especially one whose on-screen persona is a caricature of self-importance. But there it was. Clarkson was crying and I soon had tears in my eyes too. After all, the show was never really about cars (though it does help if you like them). It was about its hosts, their personalities and chemistry. It’s why they stayed together when Clarkson was fired and why a large part of the Top Gear audience moved over to The Grand Tour along with them, and why The Grand Tour will probably not be continued with new presenters.

Except, Clarkson added, it wasn’t entirely the end. The show as we know it — with the tent, the audience, and the track — would end, but Clarkson, Hammond, and May would continue traveling the world with, it is suggested, a camera crew to record it. So it seems their TV specials will live on for some time longer, which is not all that surprising given that this final season already featured more of them than usual.

All three men are getting on in years, particularly Clarkson and May, so I wasn’t surprised to see a reminder that they would be nearing retirement. But it will be sad the day they stop working together.


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