James May reacts to Top Gear being taken off air as he declares BBC 'need a rethink'

James May joined presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond on Top Gear in 2003 until the popular trio dramatically exited the BBC show 12 years later.

England v New Zealand - 2nd Metro Bank ODI

Freddie Flintoff suffered severe injuries during filming of Top Gear (Image: Getty)

James May has said Top Gear's format "needs a rethink" following the BBC's decision to rest the series.

Production has decided to shelve the series after host Freddie Flintoff was badly injured in an accident while filming last year.

James has since suggested the BBC offering requires a new approach if it is to ever return to screens.

Speaking on the BBC's Today Podcast, he commented: "My honest view is - I can say this now - it does need a bit of a rethink.

"It's time for a new format and a new approach to the subject because the subject has not been this interesting, I suspect, since the car has been invented."

Top Gear Stars At Kyalami Racetrack

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond hosted Top Gear (Image: Getty)

The full interview aired on Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday. It will also feature on the Today podcast when it's released on Thursday.

Following the BBC's decision not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract with the show on 25 March 2015, after an incident on set with a producer, James, 60, stated in April 2015 that he would not continue to present Top Gear as part of a new line-up of presenters.

Richard Hammond also followed suit and the trio were immediately hired for a new motoring series, The Grand Tour, on Amazon Prime Video.

Since them, James suggested Top Gear "has followed a very similar format and framework to the way we left it".

Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff hosted Top Gear

Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff hosted Top Gear (Image: BBC)
Become an Express Premium member
  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Top Gear Presenter James May At Home After Jeremy Clarkson's Dismassal

James May suggested BBC need to rethink the show's format (Image: Getty)

"But, I mean, we're getting quite old and we already do that," he continued. "There's another way. I'm not saying I know what it is, but there must be one. There must be another way of doing a show about cars.

"I'd be really surprised if it is gone forever... It or something like it."

James, Jeremy and Richard developed the show format which heavily relied on their chemistry and also featured a live audience with several celebrity interviews.

The Grand Tour presenter also addressed the latest lineup which featured Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie.

"I've only met Freddie once or twice but it's obviously more serious than we all thought," he commented.

"The bloke's hurt himself very badly in a life-changing way, obviously. And you could perhaps not use it as an opportunity to be partisan. You could perhaps just say, 'Rotten bit of luck, hope you get well soon'."

James shut down the idea of a possible return to Top Gear alongside Richard and Jeremy, saying the suggestion irritated him a bit adding they won't come back and rescue the programme.

Freddie reached a settlement with the BBC, reportedly worth £9m.

Would you like to receive notifications from this site?