James May nearly died filming 'The Grand Tour'

It’s safe to say that the beginning of 2016 was dominated with reports that the new version of Top Gear, fronted by Chris Evans, was facing new struggles and setbacks on what seemed to be a daily basis.

Now it has been revealed that original Top Gear trio, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, weren’t having a much smoother ride whilst filming their new car programme, The Grand Tour, with it being revealed that May almost died during film.

The 53-year-old presenter apparently came close to death when they were in Venice, Italy, almost drowning when he “ran out of strength” to swim to safety.

Speaking about his close encounter, James explained: “I thought I would drown. I couldn’t get out of the slippery thing.

“I had completely run out of strength.”

Jeremy Clarkson added to the Daily Star: “Everyone managed to get into their cars but somehow James slipped.”

And that’s not the only mishap James encountered, with the unlucky star also breaking his arm after coming out of a pub the night before filming.

Producer Andy Wilman explained: “James fell over the night before filming, coming out of a pub.

“He rang me up and said, ‘I’ve broken my arm.’ His car was automatic so we stuck him on Eurostar, pumped him full of drugs and left him to it.

“[James] did more damage to it because he had to keep on going but he’s falling to bits anyway. We are not in Usain Bolt territory with that body.”

The Grand Tour filmed across the globe and is due to launch on Amazon Prime Video on the 18th November.

The series came to be after Jeremy was axed from Top Gear following a fracas with a producer, James and Richard subsequently quit in order to front the new show together.

And, by the sounds of it, they’re pretty lucky to have come out of it alive…