James May has confirmed that a new series of The Grand Tour is coming later this year, but admitted that there could be a question mark over future outings with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond.
“There will come a day when either we’ll agree that we’re past it or one of us will just die and then it will have to stop I suppose, but at the moment it’s still working,” May, 59, told journalists, including the Standard, as he promoted the second season of his solo travel series, Our Man In, which comes to Prime Video on July 15.
The first series saw him explore Japan and this time around he’s heading to Italy.
While he enjoys making The Grand Tour, he says it’s nice to branch out on his own sometimes.
He said: “We’re not very good on The Grand Tour at giving anything any gravitas really because everything is ‘boring’ or ‘nerdy’ or ‘OCD’ so yes, it is quite nice to be on my own, but I do accept that I can become a little bit too immersed in some things and I possibly have to be moved along a bit.
“Put it this way, you would have got six episodes of me making bagpipes.”
Our Man In Japan was a huge success and the original plan had been to film the follow-up in America, however that had to be scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While he’s hopeful that America could still happen one day depending on how this series is received, he admits he did have some reservations when Italy was suggested as an alternative.
He explained: “The thing about Italy is - and this did worry me a bit when we were doing it - I’ve been to Italy loads and it is a European country so it is very different to being in England and it’s very different to being in Germany where I go quite regularly, but it’s not as surprising as Japan because Japan is obviously an entirely different culture.
“Italy is a related European culture, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work because there are still enough differences for Italy to be baffling and exciting at the same time.
“Everywhere is interesting if you look closely enough and to be honest you don’t have to look very far in Italy for things to become interesting because it’s full of fabulous things to look at, to eat, drink and argue about,” he continued.
“It’s a very sort of culturally dense, experientially dense country, one of the reasons it’s so popular. It’s not a big place but it’s rammed to bursting point with stuff.”
The new series sees the former Top Gear presenter take on everything from the Sicilian capital of Palermo to the peaks of the Dolomites as he looks to discover Italy’s culture, food, industry, and even a bit of sport.
While viewers will get to see him make a full-English pizza, much to the horror of one of the Italian chefs, one skill he picked up and is quite proud of failed to make the final edit.
He said: “I did actually learn how to handmake macaroni by wrapping rolled out sheets of homemade egg pasta around pieces of wire and then sliding them off. It takes hours and you end up with a small bowl of pasta, but I can at least do it now.
“If you came round to my house, I could make – well, you’d have to come round a day later, but I could make you homemade macaroni with truffle or with cheese.”
James May: Our Man In Italy will launch July 15 on Prime Video.