The Grand Tour season 2 – all you need to know

Tom Eames, Sam Ashurst
Photo credit: Amazon Prime

From Digital Spy

The Grand Tour's first season concluded after 13 explosive and entertaining episodes in early 2017. And while there are a few things we'd like to change, it was an overall success for Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond's first series on Amazon Prime since leaving Top Gear.

But what happens next? When will the holy trinity return for a second series? What features will come back? Will they manage to keep a celebrity guest alive long enough to interview them? Here's everything there is to know so far. We'll be updating this story with all new information as and when, so keep it bookmarked.

The Grand Tour season 2 release date: When will it return?

Photo credit: Amazon Prime

On 1 Nov, the team announced an air date of Friday 8 December 2017.

When they first signed their deal with Amazon, they agreed to 36 episodes over three years. As the first season contained 13 episodes, we'd expect there to be at least 11 or 12 episodes this time around.

The Grand Tour season 2 trailer

To mark Amazon's Prime Day on July 11, the global shopping event exclusively for Amazon Prime members, Amazon released the first new footage of any filming from the second season.

The short clip sees Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May larking about in Mozambique, Switzerland and the UK.

The promo also teases Richard Hammond's horrific crash while driving the all-electric Rimac Concept One in Switzerland:

Hammond is seen excitedly saying "Watch this" before setting off in the Rimac.

Perhaps referencing his high-speed crash while turning a bend, a tagline for the series reads: "A second round of monkey business is just around the corner". We are then treated to the sight of an actual monkey walking about on screen.

The first full trailer dropped on 1 Nov:

In it , we see the three presenters slide down a snowy mountainside before cutting to a series of clips of the boys playing around in various exotic vehicles in various exotic locations (see below for where exactly), all set to the sound of Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die.

The Grand Tour season 2 tickets: Where can I get some?

The Tent will stay in the UK this year around – while the boys will still tour the world, the "studio" element of the show will remain in their Cotswolds base camp.

But you only have a week to apply for tickets. Applications for tickets to the studio recordings of series two open Tuesday Sept 26 at amazon.co.uk/GTTickets, closing at midnight on Tuesday, October 3.

The Grand Tour season 2 online: How can I watch it?

Photo credit: Amazon Prime

When it is finally released – as well as the first season – you can watch it all online via Amazon Prime.

If you want a full guide as to what the hell Amazon Prime is and how you can watch it on your desktop, smartphone, tablet or TV, head over to our in-depth handy guide here.

The Grand Tour season 2 locations: Where is it filming?

Speaking on their DriveTribe channel in February, Jeremy revealed that they will be heading back to Africa and that they will also be going to Georgia (the country, not the US state).

They also joked that they will "never" pitch their tent in France, after Jeremy and Richard once had their driving licences taken away in the country (referring to the Top Gear episode 'The Perfect Road Trip'). They then revealed that they were indeed just joking, and that they had decided to film in France at some point in series two.

The boys were also spotted filming on the island of Pag in Croatia in early May. Hammond was seen in an Ariel Nomad, while Jeremy tried out a blue Audi TT:

Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado and New York are all also on the schedule.

When does filming start?

Amazon also confirmed to Digital Spy that filming for the second season commenced in February, so they got back on it pretty quickly.

What features will return?

Photo credit: Amazon Prime

Little is known about what the format of season 2 will be, but we're at least assuming the whole 'tour' element will remain, including the travelling tent.

It remains to be seen whether features such as Celebrity Braincrash, Conversation Street or the Eboladrome test track will be back.

The jury is also still out on whether "The American" Mike Skinner will be back for a second run as their new Stig equivalent.

Richard Hammond injury - is the Hamster alright?

Photo credit: DRIVETRIBE

You may have heard that Richard suffered a couple of rather nasty injuries while filming for The Grand Tour. Well, thankfully, he's alright!

Richard first spoke out after it was reported that he had been badly hurt in a motorcycle accident in late March.

Taking to his motoring website Drivetribe, Hammond reassured fans by saying: "Thanks for enquiries re my slight shunt whilst filming for GT.

"I can confirm that yes, I fell off a bike, many times in fact, and yes, I banged my head and everything else. But life goes on."

He later added: "It's true, I did fall off a motorbike whilst filming recently for The Grand Tour in Mozambique. I banged my head, yes, along with pretty much everything else apart from my left thumb, which remains un-bruised.

"Can't tell you more yet about the how and why of it; that's all for later in the year on the show. As for injuries; well put it this way, I don't think I can get a book out of it."

This was Richard's second injury while filming a TV stunt, and came 11 years after he crashed a jet-powered car at 288mph on BBC Two's Top Gear – an incident which left him in a coma for two weeks.

Then, on June 10, Richard was involved in another serious car accident in Switzerland, and was airlifted to hospital. He had lost control of a Rimac Concept One electric car while taking part in the famous Hemburg time-trial.

The show's producer Andy Wilman said his colleague and friend is lucky to be alive after the frightening incident, which saw the car catch fire moments after Hammond escaped to safety.

"Richard Hammond was involved in a serious crash after completing the Hemburg Hill Climb in Switzerland in a Rimac Concept One, an electric super car built in Croatia, during filming for The Grand Tour Season 2 on Amazon Prime, but very fortunately suffered no serious injury," a Grand Tour spokesperson told Digital Spy.

"Richard was conscious and talking, and climbed out of the car himself before the vehicle burst into flames. He was flown by Air Ambulance to hospital in St Gallen to be checked over revealing a fracture to his knee.

"Nobody else was in the car or involved in the accident, and we'd like to thank the paramedics on site for their swift response. The cause of the crash is unknown and is being investigated."

Grand Tour producer Wilman told the Sunday Mirror: "Jeremy and James both raced down to the scene of the crash as soon as it happened. When they saw the wreckage on fire they thought Richard was dead. It was really bad.

"They were staggered he had got out of it alive, because there was just nothing left. Everyone is so relieved. If Richard had been a few seconds slower getting out, he would have been incinerated."

Thankfully, despite the seriousness of the crash, Richard clearly has more than nine lives, as he was soon seen having a joke in hospital:

Clarkson later gave a full account of what happened on Drivetribe. After recalling hearing the news that a driver had had an "off" in one of the cars, and adding that he then saw a plume of smoke that suggested the "off" had been serious, Clarkson shared how he felt the moment he realised Hammond was caught up in the accident.

"As I stood there, waiting for news, it dawned on me that the burning car was not yellow, as the Aventador was. It was white. Hammond's Rimac had been white," he wrote. "And I can feel it now; the coldness. My knees turning to jelly. It was Hammond who'd crashed.

"I was joined at this point by James [May], who'd arrived on the scene just before me in his Honda NSX. He was in a right old state, his arms waving frantically, his eyes wide. 'Hammond's in there,' he was screaming.

"Then came news from a nearby marshal that he wasn't. That he'd got out before the fire started. And that 'his body' – that's what they said – was behind a screen at the bottom of the hill.

"I could see the screen. I could see the paramedics behind it. I couldn't see Hammond. I didn't want to see him. Not after a crash that big."

Clarkson continued: "At a guess, I'd say he was doing 120 mph when he left the road and that he'd have been going even faster than that when he'd smashed into the road below. He wasn't going to be a pretty sight, that's for sure.

"Our security man is made of sterner stuff and set off down the hill like a racing goat. I watched him arrive at the scene. I watched him intently. I saw him lift his walky talky and I heard him say, 'It's all right fellas. He winked at me.'"

Richard later shared a rather gruesome photo of his scar:

Photo credit: DRIVETRIBE

On June 27, Richard gave a more detailed account as to what happened on DriveTribe, saying: "I was aware that I was up high, and that inevitably the car was going to come down," he said.

"And yeah, of course there was a moment of dread – 'Oh God, I'm going to die'."

Explaining that he was conscious "the whole way through" the crash and was aware of the car's "beating" from the ground, he said he remembered thinking: "Well, this is it."

"In fact that is what was going through my mind. I thought 'I've had it'," he said. "It was like being in a tumble dryer full of bricks."

Watch the full interview below:

Speaking of doctor's demands for him to not exercise for 18 months in September, he told The Mirror: "I can't run for 18 months and that's how I keep fit. I'm 47 – it's hard to keep the weight off so it will hit me hard if I can't run.

"They've told me I have to cycle, but I hate cyclists. We all hate cyclists. I'm a 47-year-old man – I can't be cycling along the street wearing a helmet."

And what about Jeremy Clarkson?

Just as it looked as if the trio were all back in good health, Jezza had his own scare in the first week of August.

He has said that he will need to take a break from work for "quite some time" after contracting pneumonia while on a family holiday in Majorca.

Photo credit: DriveTribe

Clarkson posted a message on social media saying: "To keep you up to date, I'll be out of action for quite some time apparently." He said it was "really annoying" as he had previously never had a day off work.

He shared a photograph of tubes connected to his arm. and his hospital identity tags around his wrist, adding: "Not the sort of bangles I usually choose on holiday."

He had been due to restart filming The Grand Tour the following week. It has yet to be revealed whether it will make a further impact on when the show will return.

Jeremy later posted on Instagram the disturbing news that his hospital admittance has now left James May as the only fit and healthy member of the Grand Tour team.

Taking to their motoring site DriveTribe, Richard Hammond and James May gave their own update, with Hammond writing: "Right, someone's got to tell Jeremy to listen to what the doctors tell him and follow orders. I'm busy. Can you do it?"

And James May added: "CLARKSON IS POORLY IS UPDATE. Jeremy Clarkson has pneumonia. Symptoms include coughing, sweating, shivering, and feeling generally unwell. So how do we know?"

Jeremy later said that his doctors told him he could "die" from the illness. Writing in his column for The Times, he said: "I was on holiday in Mallorca when I started to feel ill. And after three nights spent spasming in my bed, I thought I ought to go and see the doc," he wrote.

"He sent me for tests at the hospital, where I was put into a plastic dress with a slit up the back and told by a man in what looked like a swimming hat that I'd have to be admitted for at least a week.

"'Impossible,' I snorted. 'I have to go to New York on Tuesday and I've my columns to write; then on Friday...'"

However, the doctor convinced Clarkson to be treated by delivering strong words.

"'A healthy person's CRP should be five,' said Mark Spitz. 'Yours is 337'," Clarkson recalled. "I had no idea at the time what a CRP was – it turns out to be something your body makes more of when you have an infection – but 337 sounded a lot.

"'If you don't do as I say,' he added, 'you will die.' I did understand that."

Amazon Prime budget: How expensive will it be?

When they first joined Amazon, the team were given a whopping budget of £160 million. It means on average they have around £4.5m to spend per episode.

This makes it Amazon's biggest investment in original content to date, and easily one of the most expensive UK shows ever made.

The gamble clearly paid off, as the first season of The Grand Tour made a nice profit of £8.39 million before taxes, (nearly $11 million dollars), according to AOL UK.

While chatting with Matt Baker on The One Show in June, James was quizzed on how much was being spent on the follow-up.

"As little as possible," James joked. "No, it's about the same, I would think. It is quite an expensive show to make.

Photo credit: Amazon Prime

"There's a lot of travel involved. There's a lot of crew involved. There's a lot of tech involved, filming in 4K. But that's boring stuff. It's going to look largely the same, but we've moved it on a bit in a way that I can't really tell you about yet because you're the enemy and it's secret!"

Netflix's chief executive, Reed Hastings, spoke to The Guardian about the battle to scoop the famous trio's new show, saying quite simply: "We bid on Jeremy Clarkson's show and they bid more. By the time they won it, we were like, 'Wow, that's a lot of money'."

Will there be anything until then?

There's always DriveTribe – the motoring app launched by Clarkson, Hammond and May last year.

The trio teamed up with Grand Tour producer Andy Wilman and Beamly tech mogul Ernesto Schmitt to launch the service in 2016.

DriveTribe is being presented as a car enthusiast's equivalent to Twitch, where gamers can watch other amateurs and professionals in action.

"Gamers have got Twitch, travellers have got TripAdvisor and fashion fans have got, oh, something or other too," Hammond told The Guardian.

"But people who are into cars have got nowhere. There's no grand-scale online motoring community where people can meet and share video, comments, information and opinion. DriveTribe will change that. And then some!"

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