James May opens up on ‘pretty long days’ filming Grand Tour: ‘It’s a shame’

The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson stars in 'A Massive Hunt' trailer

The Grand Tour team are finally back this week after months of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk about their new special for Amazon Prime Video, A Massive Hunt, series host James May revealed the challenges of the show’s demanding schedule. 


TV presenter James May has confessed to long hours behind the wheel in order to deliver the latest special instalment of The Grand Tour, A Massive Hunt. 

During promotion for the new episode, May spoke to Express.co.uk and admitted he often isn’t able to explore the series’ exotic locations as much as he would have liked.

He revealed: “To be honest, it is a shame but we don’t really get any spare time on these things.

“The days are pretty long, and by the time they’re over we’re fairly tired and it’s usually dark.”

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Following on from their Top Gear tradition, May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond’s latest globe-trotting adventure saw the trio hunting for pirate treasure in Madagascar.

Due to producer Andy Wilman contracting COVID-19 near the start of the pandemic, it’s now been over a year since the last episode, Seamen, took the team on a voyage through Vietnam.

Despite the new specials’ idyllic backdrops, the trio of motorists didn’t have much downtime to do any exploring of their own.

In their latest trek, the presenters were back in cars to navigate the treacherous main roads of the East African island.

As the three drivers spent most of the shoot crawling over bumps and potholes at a snail’s pace, there wasn’t enough time to park up and enjoy what would have been a relaxing holiday for regular travellers. 

He recalled: “We have to spend a bit of time working out what we’re doing the next day. Whether we’re ahead or we’re behind, if things have broken or gone wrong.” 

James May spent much of the latest episode soaked through thanks for his decision to operate an open-top Caterham sports car for the duration of the trip.

Meanwhile, Richard Hammond’s heavily modified Ford Focus RS kept hitting cracks in the road and falling apart.

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This meant the motorists were unfortunately way behind schedule for most of the journey, leaving them with minimal time to discover the legendary pirate gold.

Sadly, this was par for the course for May, who admitted most of his specials for Top Gear and The Grand Tour have fallen into a similar routine.

He added: “We’ve been to a lot of places in the world where we haven’t really explored or done anything beyond the job we’re doing.” 

Thankfully, when it comes to the gorgeous vistas and open waters of Madagascar, May didn’t think they missed out on anything this time round.

He explained: “The good thing about Madagascar is the job we were doing is actually what you would do in Madagascar anyway. 

“Drive along or walk along and just look at it. So I don’t feel that I missed anything, apart from that I didn’t go snorkelling.”

The new feature length episode is finally coming to screens later this week, so fans can tune in to discover for themselves if Madagascar’s scenery lives up to its reputation.

The Grand Tour presents… A Massive Hunt is released Friday, December 18 on Amazon Prime Video.

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