Coronavirus (almost) killed a northern Russia episode of 'The Grand Tour'
The team of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond were set to head off on their next grand adventure in mid-March. A new interview between Clarkson and "The Grand Tour" executive editor Andy Wilman pulls back the curtain on that next act, which was cancelled because of COVID-19.
Ahead of any shoot for an episode of "The Grand Tour" the show's production company, Expectation Entertainment, expends hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing. That includes expenditures for finding the shooting, driving, and lodging locations; shipping cars to the location; and paying fixers among other things.
During the chat session, Wilman described how the team was in the thick of it with planning for the latest episode featuring a drive in northern Russia when the first reports of the coronavirus came out. "There's no word in Russian for 'I'll give you refund'," joked Wilman. "It just doesn't exist."
Jeremy Clarkson & Andy Wilman discuss why it takes so bloody long to put a Grand Tour film outwww.youtube.com
Soon, the team began hearing about closing borders, not just Russia's, but England's.
They had to make a decision. "We had to call it. It was the right move," Wilman confirmed, jokingly adding later, "The people only want us to do globetrotting and boy have we picked the right moment to do that."
Clarkson says that they will still do the episode, but that there will be another one in-between.
An episode shot in northern Russia would be an extreme climatic change from the last episode the trio filmed in Madagascar. That episode has been held up in the editing process due to social distancing guidelines set forth in England over the last few months.
Most of northern Russia is above the Arctic Circle. It's bordered by the Arctic Ocean and Bearing Sea.
This wouldn't be the first time they've been to the Arctic Circle. In 2007, an episode of "Top Gear" starring Clarkson, May, and Hammond aired and featured the group's successful attempt to be the first people to reach the 1996 position of the North Magnetic Pole (in Canada) in a motor vehicle. It was the first "Top Gear" episode ever aired in high definition and featured Richard Hammond on a dog sled.
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