Sunday Snippet: The Grand Tour

Jeremy Clarkson: “He was born in 1836. He was fired by Car Magazine, fired by Autocar magazine, fired by Scotland on Sunday, and somehow he managed to get fired by a Volvo dealership. Probably for driving too slowly. Ladies and gentlemen, James May!”

Following last year’s fracas with the BBC, we weren’t entirely sure what would become of Jeremy Clarkson. We were left wondering what would happen to Top Gear and how co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond would play into the mix. A lot has changed since last spring. Top Gear has new presenters and the “old” hosts have just launched their new program on Amazon Prime in the most glorious of fashions. The Grand Tour is everything that we wanted (which is mostly more of the same).

It’s still a “motoring” show hosted by the same three guys we’ve adored for years, except now they have even more freedom (and more budget) to do almost anything they want. And they’ll have an even easier time tapping into the global audience than ever before. There were a couple of big misses in the series premiere — we could have done without the “American” and “Celebrity Brain Crash” — but it’s great to see the boys back on TV… even if that TV is “only” online.

Today’s post isn’t really meant to be a proper review of The Grand Tour. Instead, I wanted to highlight something particularly notable that happened after the extraordinarily expensive opening sequence. The three presenters introduced one another not by their accomplishments, but rather by their failures. Each pointed out from where the other had been fired.

James May: “Ladies and gentlemen, you probably can’t see him from the back, but I assure you he is here. He was fired by Radio York, fired by Radio Leeds and fired by Radio Lancashire. It’s Richard Hammond!”

It’s easy to write this off as gentle ribbing between chums, and it most certainly still is, but there’s a greater life lesson to be learned here. For “gearheads,” these three guys have become household names over the course of the last several years. Most of us didn’t know who any of them were before they started hosting BBC’s Top Gear. But we know them now. And we positively adore them.

The truth is that the path to success is riddled with monumental and frequent failures. That’s why sometimes it pays to be stubborn. Just put your head down and keep going. It’s pretty safe to say that signing an especially lucrative three-year contract with Amazon to do The Grand Tour is a good example of amazing success.

Richard Hammond: “Over here, he’s basically a shaved ape in a shirt. And he – technically – is the only one of us never to be fired by anyone. It’s Jeremy Clarkson!”

It’s easy to get disheartened when you lose your job for whatever reason. That’s perfectly understandable and a completely normal human response. You might think that it’s too late to re-invent yourself or to pursue an entirely different career or passion.

But look at these three blokes.

They’re hardly “young men” anymore and they weren’t exactly strapping young lads when they started at Top Gear either. They’ve faced numerous challenges and have ultimately overcome them all. You just have to keep plugging away until you find something that works. Even if you are basically a shaved ape in a shirt. Or you get a speeding ticket for going 37 mph.

And on that bombshell…. Welcome to your new home, boys. We’re sure glad to have you back.