Top Gear trio return home
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Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May flew back to the United Kingdom on Monday afternoon following a well-received four show tour of Australia, during which Clarkson confirmed the trio will return with a new show.
The three presenters made their way across Sydney Airport ahead of a flight back to London after their aptly titled Cr-ASHES tour concluded at the city’s Allphones Arena the previous evening.
Clarkson, 55, was characteristically buoyant as he made his way across the sprawling terminal with an assistant before checking his luggage.
The controversial presenter was joined by Hammond, 45, and 52-year-old May as they made their way towards the departure lounge and a lengthy journey back to the UK.
Their departure comes following a successful visit to Australia, where their tour - hastily rebranded following Clarkson's parting of ways with Top Gear - took in shows across Perth and Sydney.
But despite their popularity Clarkson once again found himself on the receiving end of a backlash after posting a shot of himself alongside Hammond and May outside the Margaret River Fudge Factory near Perth.
Captioning the snap, he wrote: 'We have got jobs at last. Here. As packers'.
His joke was a nod to a phrase commonly considered a slur used to describe gay men, and caused uproar.
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond say they will be returning to television with a new motoring show.
A spokesman for gay rights charity Stonewall said: 'We can't quite see Clarkson in the confectionery industry, maybe it's the sour taste that his racist and homophobic slurs leave. All we can see him packing up at the moment is his career.'
While Clarkson's BBC contract prevents him from doing another motor-based program in the UK for the next two years, it's understood together with Hammond, 45, and May,52, the trio will head both Stateside and do an online series, with Netflix and Amazon reportedly among the bidders.
Speaking to The Today Show on Friday morning, Hammond admitted walking away from his former Top Gear co-hosts was never an option.
‘I think it’s just being realistic – there’s nothing else we can do now, it’s literally our only function,’ he said. ‘So yes, we’ll stick together.’
The car enthusiast also revealed they decided to create a special show for their Australian fans during the four show run in Perth and Sydney.
He said: ‘We’ve been coming to Australia, or this show has, for a lot of years now, but this year we decided we’re going to give them a bit of a treat because we don’t want to wear the place out, we’ve been coming here year after year, let’s really put our backs into it.'
Around 14,000 people watched each of the shows, which saw Jeremy battle against a team of Australian sport and TV personalities.
After entering the arena on a hovercraft, he promised the audience he will soon return with a new show.
'There will be a car show on the Internet or in your house,' he said, adding: 'For legal reasons, nothing we have ever done together has ever happened. Our lawyers tell us that, for legal reasons, we have never met.'