5 things to know about The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown, according to Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond
Scotland IS exotic.
The latest Grand Tour has been revealed and, due to the way the world is right now, they have chosen a location rather closer to home for their next adventure. The clue is in the name - The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown.
Yep, they are heading to Scotland, a place they have been before but this time it’s a little different. They are travelling the country in souped-up American cars. These include a Cadillac Coupe De Ville, a Lincoln Continental and a Buick Riviera.
To celebrate the launch of the feature-length episode - which is part one of a two-part UK special - we chatted to Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond about the show.
Here are 5 things to know about The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown, according to its stars...
1 Scotland, for many, is an exotic location
Richard Hammond: Scotland might not be very far away if you live in England, or Wales or Ireland or indeed Scotland. But if you live in somewhere like New York or Denmark, Scotland's a bloody long way away, and it's absolutely beautiful and deserves to be shown to the world.
Edinburgh [however] was not designed around full size American sedans from the 70s and 80s. So we did have some trouble threading them through the place and caused some considerable damage to the cars. But none of us ever complained apart from the weather, which is bloody awful. But that's, you know, that's gonna be the case.
Jeremy Clarkson: It might not be terribly exotic to British viewers, but if you're watching the show (and more people do) abroad, if you're watching it in America or Australia or Chile or India or wherever it might be, then Scotland's incredibly exotic, it's as exotic to them as South Africa is to us, or Uganda or wherever it might be.
2 They have no idea why they are so popular
Richard Hammond: I don't know! It's not a self conscious thing. It's not something we set out to create. We're very lucky beneficiaries of it. I think we coincide it through luck with a point in time when there was an appetite for something that was revealing about what three blokes get up to left to their own devices. And we are three fairly ordinary blokes - we are not exceptional in a particular way. So it's quite nice for people to see that reflected on screen, I think. More than that, I don't know. There's no science to it. We didn't work it out. We've all worked in TV a long time and we just make the best show we can make and that's the best we can do really.
Jeremy Clarkson: It must just be me, I think. I can't think what those other two bring to the party. We were very fortunate in that when we first got together, very few people were watching our show. And so we were able to sort of develop what is now known as our chemistry, when no one was really watching. And then Richard had his first big accident, everybody suddenly became Oh, what is this show? And who is this man? And so everybody started watching us. And by that time, we were already fully formed. It’s not like we’re best friends. We're not in and out of each other's houses. But we really do get on when we're together. I mean, it's just the sound of laughter and moaning.
3 They didn’t choose the name of the show (but they love it)
Jeremy Clarkson: The funny thing is the names 'A Massive Hunt' and 'Lochdown' are all down to Amazon's marketing. It makes me ashamed because, you know, it’s our job is to mess around with words and all of the best efforts of the people making the programme, we couldn't come up with titles for any of them. Then Amazon's marketing department just went, ‘well what about Seamen?’ ‘What about A Massive Hunt?’ And then with Lochdown, I just thought ‘Why didn't I think of that?’ It’s a very clever name.
4 They have a new-found love for American cars
Jeremy Clarkson: “We were simply sitting around chatting one day and then wondering why we spent 20 years mocking American cars and we wanted to see if they were as bad and as wobbly as we think they are. I just thought it would be fun to drive one around in the UK - and it had to be the UK obviously, because we couldn't go anywhere else. And off we went and it was a riot. Turns out American cars are, I mean, hopeless and filled with velour but nevertheless, comedic. So comedic, in fact, I've kept mine.
It's my second-ever American car. I had an American car before. I had a Ford GT, which never worked. I mean, I didn't complete one single journey in it before I gave it back to Ford and said, thanks very much for my money back if you don't mind. It was terrible.
But this one is just amusing. It has a Cartier clock in it, an actual genuine Cartier clock, which I think is a thing of great beauty and who doesn't want ‘button back’ velour upholstery in their lives. And it's extremely comfortable for a man in his advancing years which is an important consideration.
5 It’s much more fun being on location
James May: Compared to the old studio format, yeah, absolutely. I think we actually make better telly doing this than we did doing things in a studio. We had flogged that studio idea pretty hard for quite a few years. But over the same period, we made relatively few specials - it only used to be one per series. So there's more life left in the specials than there is in the studio.
I also think the way we work now is that there are quite large parts of the year when we don't have anything to do with each other. I'm off travelling, Jeremy's doing his farm thing and Richard Hammond is escaping from a desert island or whatever. And then by the time we do get back together, we're ready to start taking the piss again quite vigorously. You know, it's all built up and we're up for it. I prefer it as I think we're making better telly and the important thing is to make the best thing we can.
As for a chance of a Middle Earth / The Grand Tour crossover, now Amazon has the rights to both....
Jeremy Clarkson: I mean, Middle Earth might be about the safest place to be right now, so yeah.
The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown will arrive on Amazon Prime Video on July 30.
- These are the best Amazon Prime Video TV shows.