Jeremy Clarkson reveals James May almost died in monsoon during 'The Grand Tour' filming

Tom Beasley
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attend a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Jeremy Clarkson has revealed that his co-host James May had to be rescued by crew from monsoon waves during filming of The Grand Tour in Vietnam.

The 59-year-old told The Sun that the team were attempting to cross part of the South China Sea in monsoon season, when they were hit by treacherous weather conditions.

Clarkson, May and Richard Hammond have recently filmed the first of the new, special episodes of The Grand Tour in Cambodia and Vietnam, but things didn’t exactly go to plan.

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The team rowed out into the Mekong Delta river, but suffered serious problems when they entered the sea.

Clarkson said: “It transpired four people were killed an inch away from us.

“It’s about the only time health and safety has made the correct decision.

Co-host James May attends Amazon Studio's "The Grand Tour" season two premiere screening and party at Duggal Greenhouse on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“I, of course, was fine, but May had to abandon ship as crew boats were filling with water.”

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Responding to fan questions on DriveTribe, Clarkson promised that the special will prove to be an “astonishing show”, despite the fact filming went very wrong.

He said: “It was an incredibly dramatic ending which was entirely accidental.

“The ending we’d planned, that we’d spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on, that we had researched for months, didn’t happen.

“As a result of the conditions we simply couldn’t complete [the shoot] but because of the conditions we had one hell of an ending.”

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It’s not the first time that the former Top Gear trio have suffered life-threatening events in the pursuit of television, with Hammond hospitalised in 2006 after crashing a jet-powered car at 288 mph.

Hammond also narrowly escaped death when he crashed a high-performance electric car during filming in 2017.

The Grand Tour is set to return on Amazon Prime later this year.

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