Jeremy Clarkson shaped Top Gear to keep ‘American car nuts happy’

Jeremy Clarkson wanted to keep “American car nuts happy” while making ‘Top Gear’.

The 64-year-old TV star presented the programme from 2002 to 2015 alongside James May, 61, and Richard Hammond, 54, and admitted he chose to tone down the show’s absurdity to appease the fans who wanted “less cocking about”.

In his column for The Sunday Times, he wrote: “Many years ago, when ‘Top Gear’ was a swashbuckling festival of tyre smoke and innuendo that came into your living room every Sunday evening like a drunken uncle, I just sort of did what felt right every week.

“But then I started consulting a small but very keen fan site in America to see what they were saying. And what they were mostly saying is that they wanted more cars and less cocking about.

“This meant, when it was time to start preparing the following week’s show, their views would be front and centre in my head.

“My gut would tell me to do one thing, but these faceless uberfans would be telling me to do something else. And I found myself more and more doing that.

It was ridiculous. We were making a show for a weekly audience of 350 million people, but I was shaping it to keep maybe 25 American car nuts happy.

“I dreaded their displeasure on a Sunday night, and I’d do anything to avoid it.”

After working on the BBC programme, the ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ star and his colleagues moved over to Amazon Prime to work on their own motoring show ‘The Grand Tour’.

However, the trio confirmed they would be exiting the series after the final special releases later this year.

When James was asked if he expected to work with Jeremy and Richard again once they parted ways with the programme, he the chances were slim.

He told Unilad: “I think people would only really like us doing cars, despite what some people say - ‘Oh, I think you should all go off and do cooking or you should all go and do a podcast about nothing.’ “But I don’t think so, I think we should let it lie, what we did.”