Jeremy Clarkson managed to get himself booted from what any of us would likely consider the greatest job . . . in the woooooorld. James May recently revealed that he won't carry on with Top Gear without the loudmouthed Clarkson. Today, we learn that out of the job anyway—but he'd already placed an order for a $317,000 Ferrari 458 Speciale, a reward for another three years on the job, when the fracas made the three Top Gear hosts jobless. Oops.
That's the word from (subscription required), where he reveals that the team didn't plan on continuing with Top Gear forever. "There we were, all three of us, on the brink of a new three-year contract to make Top Gear, after which we would definitely chuck it in with dignity and hand the reins to a new generation, assuming we were still alive," he wrote, noting that, aside from a few details, the deal was pretty much sealed. A draft contract was actually delivered to him, he says.
Then, of course, the whole thing exploded. Clarkson was first suspended, then investigated, then eventually his new three-year contract was revoked. And while the BBC has decided to air the remaining Clarkson episodes, and promises to produce a new season next year, it won't be with any of the original cast.
That presents a problem for May, who had ordered a new Ferrari with the assumption that he'd have another three years' sizable income to fund it. As Captain Slow put it:
"Everything in the future shattered like the mishandled Christmas bauble that the future turns out to be. It all evaporated, exactly as the poet Thomas Gray warned us: "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r, and all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave" – along with the unsigned contract on my desk and unspoken permission to use the Concorde room at Heathrow terminal 5.
"It had all gone. All, that is, except the order for a 458 Speciale lodged in Ferrari's factory system, with only the final details to be confirmed. Oh c***, as I used to say when I was on telly."
Look, we're not here to cry over the loss of May's job. He's worth £10million, or a fat rounding error more than $15 million. And there's still a very good chance that all three former Top Gear hosts will end up somewhere together—rumor has it Netflix and some premium networks . Of course, May's column allows for multiple different outcomes:
"The three of us may be reunited on screen, we may go our separate ways, or we may disappear from the television altogether and each assume a place, alone, in the corner of a pub where any unsuspecting passing drinker who strays into an exclusion zone studiously avoided by the locals will be subjected to a predictable 'I used to be on TV' routine."