‘When we’re ready to eat we probably do get quite insistent’: James May claims Jeremy Clarkson punched Top Gear producer because long days of filming made him ‘hangry’
James May has claimed Jeremy Clarkson punched Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon in 2015 because he was hangry.
Speaking to the Radio Times on Tuesday, the TV presenter, 57, detailed how his co-presenter, 60, was simply being ‘insistent’ when he flew into a rage after being told he could not order a sirloin steak after a day of filming.
Of the incident, he said: ‘I don’t think [an argument about food] has ever happened apart from on that occasion.
‘We probably do get quite insistent’: James May claimed on Tuesday Jeremy Clarkson punched Top Gear producer in 2015 because long days of filming made him ‘hangry’
‘We have very long days when we’re doing our specials. So when we’re ready to eat we probably do get quite… not bad-tempered but insistent, let’s say, about having something.’
He went on to talk about his new Amazon Prime Video cooking show Oh Cook!, discussing how it’s different to other programmes of the same kind.
‘We all know that when people make cooking shows there’s somebody doing the cooking in the background whilst the presenter talks about what’s happening,’ James said.
Looking back: Of the incident, he said: ‘We have very long days when we’re doing our specials. So when we’re ready to eat we probably do get quite… not bad-tempered but insistent’
‘We’re just being honest about it. A lot of cooking shows are a bit like car shows: it’s escapism and fantasy. We drive around in Ferraris and Lamborghinis; most people can’t do that.
‘Most people watch high-brow cooking shows and can’t go off to France to forage around a cheese market. So we’re taking the p**s a bit.’
Clarkson was fired by the BBC after he punched producer Tymon in a late-night row about dinner while filming in March 2015.
Incident: Clarkson was fired by the BBC over the incident in 2015 and co-stars James and Richard Hammond both quit before the trio joined Amazon to present The Grand Tour
Clarkson flew into a rage after being told he could not order a sirloin steak, calling Tymon a ‘lazy, Irish ****’ during a confrontation at a hotel in North Yorkshire.
Tymon launched a lawsuit against both Clarkson and the BBC after the presenter gave him a bloody lip in a fight which led to him being sacked from the motoring show.
Clarkson and his former employers agreed to pay out more than £100,000 to the sacked producer – in a move which allowed the BBC to dodge the embarrassment of a full tribunal hearing.
James and Richard Hammond promptly quit after Clarkson was sacked and the three went on to start The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video.
Talking about the lead up to the incident earlier this month, James told the Out To Lunch podcast: ‘There was a huge amount of pressure at the time.
‘I hate the idea of being smug about it, but we were the world’s biggest factual entertainment show – the biggest one in history, possibly.
For more: Full interview available in Radio Times, out now
‘At that point [in 2015] it was reckoned it had something like 350-360 million viewers.
‘It’s a huge number, and there is a pressure to keep it up. Occasionally it will boil over in one way or another.
‘If we were AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, or the Rolling Stones and we were throwing up out the back of Rolls Royces or occasionally giving somebody a slap.
‘Or if we were a professional football team misbehaving in a nightclub, people would go ‘oh that’s terrible, those rock stars.
‘It wasn’t really that different, being Top Gear. And on the whole, I think we behaved quite well.’
Reflection: Talking about the lead up to the incident earlier this month, James said there had been ‘a huge amount of pressure at the time’ because of the car show’s 360 million viewers
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