James May and Richard Hammond's Top Gear TV contracts have expired – but will they re-sign without Jeremy Clarkson?

Both are free to talk to other broadcasters or re-sign with the BBC for the motoring show

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The Independent Culture

The BBC Top Gear contracts for both James May and Richard Hammond expire today, which could see the pair exit the show should they choose not to re-sign.

The Telegraph has reported both presenters have declined to sign up to the next series of the motoring show, though they could choose to re-join the broadcaster’s flagship show in the coming months. Both their representatives have yet to comment on the claims.

May has hinted that his days at Top Gear were over last week, stating he often thought about the day the show would come to an end and that he looked forward to getting back to a normal life – before adding that he thought those days had already arrived.


Hammond tweeted that he was “gutted at such a sad end to an era” when he heard the news of Clarkson’s sacking. “We’re all three idiots in our different ways but it’s been an incredible ride together,” he added.

Both presenters have been back on the social network in the past week expressing their boredom at being “undemployed”. Hammond has been having a stab at sketching his motorbikes while May has been uploading videos of himself playing the recorder while, before informing his followers today  that “I have to go away for a few days, but hten I’ll cook the pie. Stand by. #ThatIsAll”.


It has been reported that Jeremy Clarkson, whose contract was not renewed by the BBC following the ‘fracas’ that left producer Oisin Tymon in A&E, could be reunited with his co-presenters for the Top Gear Live shows.

BBC Worldwide was forced to postpone four shows due to be held in Norway last weekend. In order for Clarkson to be present on the world tour it has been suggested that the shows would need to be rebranded or simply billed under another name.

Phil Bowdery, the president of promoter Live Nation, told the Daily Mail “an awful lot of tickets” have already been sold and that he wants to keep faith with customers, but to do the shows there would need to be a new name and “no Stig” as these are properties of the BBC.

A statement on the Top Gear Live said: “We would like to thank our ticket holders and fans for their continued patience.

“We have not cancelled any shows – but we are working through the implications of Jeremy’s contract not being renewed by the BBC.”

The BBC declined to comment.