Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon

“Apple is hatching plans to create its own original TV shows, even making an audacious bid to secure the former stars of Top Gear, according to reports,” James Titcomb reports for The Telegraph.

“The iPhone maker has reportedly met several high-level media executives with a view to creating its own shows in the same way that Amazon and Netflix have in recent years,” Titcomb reports. “Apple even attempted to win a bidding war for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the former stars of the BBC’s Top Gear, according to Variety. Amazon eventually secured the deal in July, paying a reported $250m (£160m) for the trio.”

“Although some sources quoted by Variety suggested Apple’s plans were at an early stage, a bid for Clarkson would imply they are serious,” Titcomb reports. “Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, told The Telegraph last month that its motoring show starring Clarkson, Hammond and May will be ‘very, very expensive… They’re worth a lot and they know it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we said earlier, it would have been quite the coup had Apple landed Clarkson, Hammond and May. Well, we’ll see what Apple can manage come up with. Hopefully, after seeing some of the ads they’ve greenlit, it won’t be The New Captain & Tennille.

Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015


  1. Why would Apple want to touch the most expensive show on television? BBC decided it couldn’t keep going with the formula and the excessive production costs & salaries involved. Even by watering down the show with dumb filler material like celebrity stars in reasonably priced cars, the show just costs too much because every episode required millions of dollars of destruction to entertain the 12 year olds of the audience.

    Apple could do a better automotive review by sticking to the older Top Gear formula, which at the height of the first generation series was a supremely informative an worthwhile review of the latest automotive innovations. It appealed to adults, not children who get their kicks with wanton onscreen destruction.

    The Stig is the only recent Top Gear cast member worth keeping.

    Clarkson, before he became an arrogant fat oaf, was one of the wittiest automotive journalists of all time. Now it’s painful to watch his supremely biased opinionation. He has not aged well.

    Captain Slow (May) is and always will be one of the most annoying pointless sidekicks ever. He provides no value to the show. He is neither funny nor talented, nor particularly insightful. He plays a geek without any shred of technical ability. Aren’t geeks at least supposed to have some utility in technical matters?

    Hammond seems to be the most earnest of the three, but has never really had a chance to be anything more than the only one of the three that could be reliably called upon to do anything remotely athletic. If Hammond had more driving experience, he would be the one to keep as the relatively sane but entertaining castmember. But if they have the Stig, then don’t need Hammond.

    I don’t think Apple should get into media creation. That is too far away from what Apple used to do well. But if anyone wants to create a great automotive television show, just take off the Stig’s helmet and let him speak.

    1. You do realise of course Mike, that “The Stig” is any competent racing driver and not just one person? There have been many “Stigs”, including a guest spot with Michael Schumacher as “Stig” when he was at his peak.

      You may not enjoy the trio’s humour but many millions of people do. While Clarkson can be arrogant at times, as a trio they work exceedingly well and Top Gear has had the highest production standards of just about any show out there. It is a comedy show using autos as the vehicle (sorry about the pun), for the comedy. Many earnest TV auto shows have failed to fire because they think it’s about the cars – it aint!

      1. Of course. And while the show has had some brilliant special guests and amazing adventures over the years, the weekly program has grown increasingly juvenile, in large part because oversized host personality. See Jeremy’s post above.

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