The Grand Tour Madagascar special: When is it released? What is the challenge? All you need to know
Confused about what's happening with The Grand Tour? We've got the latest news on the return for Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.
The Grand Tour returned in Christmas 2019 with a new special – The Grand Tour presents Seamen.
Swapping their cars for sea vehicles, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond took to the water in Cambodia and Vietnam in arguably their most unusual and dangerous adventure ever.
2020 kicked off the with the first solo series from the presenters on Amazon Prime Video, James May’s travelogue Our Man In Japan. But fans of the trio are really desperate to know when we can expect to see them back together and back behind the wheel.
The good news is the second season four special has wrapped filming. Prime Video packed the boys off for a wild challenge in... Madagascar.
The bad news? Due to Covid-19, we have very little idea when they’ll finish editing the film together and release it.
If you're struggling with the wait, The Grand Tour has released a quiz on YouTube to test your knowledge of the show's greatest moments and episodes:
James May told Good Morning Britain viewers that the Madagascar special was now in the hands of Amazon, but added that the release date this year was still being decided.
"[Amazon are] going to release it strategically at a great moment," said.
"There will be a fanfare, what I mean by that is they won’t let it be overshadowed by big football or Top Gear."
Here’s all your need to know about The Grand Tour Madagascar special…
When is the Madagascar special released?
Jeremy Clarkson has confirmed that "94%" of the Madagascar special is finished, but revealed that head producer Andy Wilman catching coronavirus has delayed the final stages of editing.
"He was very, very, very poorly," Clarkson told Drive Tribe. "The good news is, he's better, but all the edit suites and the voiceover suites and all the places you use to make television programmes are shut."
Clarkson has expressed serious concern about his close friend and long-time colleague Wilman - who also produced Top Gear. The presenter has revealed in his newspaper columns and interviews that Wilman was struggling with his breathing after catching the virus.
Amazon Prime Video revealed the following information on Twitter earlier in 2020.
"Just to let you know. Yes, another special is coming. We’ve finished filming in Madagascar. No, we don’t know when it’s coming out yet. ‘Yes, Season 4 is made up of epic specials. No, they’re not released weekly. Yes, we’ll have more info in due course."
That’s all cleared up then.
In July, they updated fans to let them know the Madagascar special was definitely arriving in 2020.
However, they also revealed that plans for another special in Russia had been curtailed because of the Covid-19 crisis.
What do we know about the Madagascar special?
Fan site Grand Tour Nation have been tracking the boys antics in the island off the coast of East Africa.
Clarkson, Hammond and May have been pictured driving modified cars off-road, believed to be a Ford Focus, Bentley Continental GT and Caterham.
Speaking about the latest film, James May told BBC Radio 2: “I think it is going to be great because, as an adventure, it was fantastic.
"Madagascar is a truly beautiful place.
"It’s wonderful, I don’t know why it isn’t full of artists – it’s just beautiful water, the skies, the breeze, the clouds – it’s ludicrously pretty."
Is this the last special?
Far from it. Andy Wilman and the crew are prepared for another year of filming, so we can probably expect at least a couple more films.
In fact, considering the popularity of The Grand Tour and the reduced workload for the presenters, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more specials for many years to come.
However, Covid has put an indefinite delay on when they can start filming again and James May revealed during an appearance on Sunday Brunch that they had no plans to do a special when under social distancing restrictions.
“You can’t really make the film with social distancing because you end up making, effectively, a show with nobody in it," said May.
“The Grand Tour relies on a bit of interaction with the locals wherever we go.
“If you said, ‘right we mustn’t go close to any people’, you wouldn’t get the whole story about the country.”
“There’s no point doing it badly, we may as well wait to do it properly. That’s our excuse.”
What happened to the Grand Tour tent?
Jeremy Clarkson broke down in tears as The Grand Tour season 3 concluded, sharing his sadness that the show would no longer have a studio audience element and will look very different in the future.
The Grand Tour Tent will be no more and future episodes of the motoring show will be in the format of epic road trip adventure specials.
The final episode of series three included a nostalgic and emotional film about the Ford saloon which Clarkson has said he put his "heart and soul into writing”.
Speaking to the studio audience at the end of the episode, Clarkson said: "We have some good news, we’re not stopping."
Richard Hammond added: "We can’t, we’d have to get jobs!"
Jeremy continued: "The show as you know it is ending…the audience…the track, but, who would like to see us doing more big adventures…road trips… specials."
Richard Hammond added: "There is still so much of the world we haven’t been to."
Jeremy said: "So many people I haven’t insulted!"
James May joked: "So many cars Richard hasn’t crashed!"
Jeremy continued: "So although the tent has gone, The Grand Tour goes on."
Richard joked: "We are going to need walking sticks and nappies."
Jeremy Clarkson: "So whilst it’s not goodbye from us, it is good bye from the tent… anyone want to buy a tent?"
What are the Clarkson, Hammond and May's new solo projects?
Uncharacteristically, James May was first off the mark with his own spinoff series on Prime Video – Our Man in Japan – available to stream now.
Fifteen years after James May first visited Japan as a baffled tourist, he embarks on a quest to understand the unique, extraordinary and complex country. The birthplace of the haiku and classical art forms driven by the principles of Wabi (stark beauty) and Sabi (natural inspiration) and Yugen (grace and subtlety), Japan is also the place that’s given us Godzilla, Hello Kitty, Cosplay, and some of the strangest obsessions on the planet.
Richard Hammond was the second presenter to confirm their own spinoff series, which will see him teaming up with Mythbusters star Tory Belleci.
The epic six-part series will feature Hammond and Belleci shipwrecked in mysterious circumstances, stranded on a remote yet beautiful desert island.
Rather than sitting around waiting to be rescued, the pair decide to take matters into their own hands as they use all of their engineering and expert scientific prowess not only to survive, but to construct an out-of-this-world, paradise island playground.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Clarkson has revealed that he is working a series following his adventures as a farmer - with the working title, I Bought A Farm.
Filmed over the course of the farming year, the series will show Clarkson like you’ve never seen him before. Beginning in Autumn 2019, the series will observe the highs and lows of what Jeremy hopes will be a rural idyll but could just as easily become a rustic nightmare.
What happened in The Grand Tour presents Seamen?
It was an epic 'road trip' journey across Vietnam and Cambodia, with one slight difference. There are no cars or roads, only boats.
Their adventure-packed voyage takes them along one of the world’s most iconic waterways - the Mekong Delta. Fans can expect elements of their previous classic road trips, with the trio choosing their boats in the usual way they choose their cars, with their own off-the-wall rationale, putting their own spin on their individual vessels... as well as each other's.
This adventure across waters saw the presenters captaining three very different types of vessels. Clarkson’s ride is a recreation of a Vietnam war-era PBR (Patrol Boat River), the famed military vessel seen in Apocalypse Now.
Hammond channels his inner Don Johnson by opting for a Miami Vice style speedboat, and May lives out his canal holiday fantasy dream with a classic 1939 wooden river cruiser. Their aquatic road trip involves an 800km journey that starts on the perilous Tonlé Sap Lake, and weaves its way via a series of adventures and calamities down through the Mekong Delta. To cap it all off, the climax of the film is one of the most dangerous and exciting challenges Clarkson, Hammond and May have ever endured.
Seasons 1-3 of The Grand Tour and The Grand Tour presents Seamen are streaming now on Prime Video.
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