James May says he is 'constantly waiting to be fired' after series of TV sackings

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: James May attends a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
James May attends a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Former Top Gear star James May has said he is ‘constantly waiting to be fired’ due to his employment history.

The 57-year-old, currently starring in The Grand Tour with long-time colleagues Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, made the comments while appearing on talkRADIO show Driven’s spin-off podcast Driven Celebrities.

Talking to host, Andy Jaye, May told of being sacked from a 1998 TV show, which coincidentally was also named Driven, with motoring journalist Jason Barlow.

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May said: “The show was really popular and we didn’t really know what we were doing – well I didn’t and I don’t think Jason Barlow did.

“But inevitably I was fired from that like I have been for everything else in my life so I was only there for one season and then I was gone.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: (L-R) Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attend a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/WireImage)
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attend a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery, January 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/WireImage)

May also spoke of originally appearing on Top Gear in 1999, before his eventual successful stint between 2003 and 2015.

He said: “Then I went on to the original Top Gear at Pebble Mill and then I lasted on that for one season and then I got fired as well.

“I’m constantly waiting to be fired from everything I do.”

Asked by Jaye if getting the axe is something he still fears, May said: “Well, it is a bit.”

LONDON - OCTOBER 31: 'Top Gear' presenters (L-R) Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond pose with the award for Most Popular Factual Programme at the National Television Awards 2007 at the Royal Albert Hall on October 31, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond with the Most Popular Factual Programme award at the 2007 NTAs at London's Royal Albert Hall, October 2007. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

He continued: “I mean, one of the results of coronavirus is that quite a few bits of work I had planned, you know, a couple of travel shows, following on from Man In Japan, the big specials with The Grand Tour, and other ideas I’ve had.

“They’ve all been postponed for the moment indefinitely because we can’t travel.

“We can’t do the sort of things we want to do with social distancing and quarantine rules in place.

He added: “I’ve been fired by circumstance. I’ve been fired by the world.”

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Before moving into TV May was a journalist, writing for magazines such as Autocar and The Engineer.

Last year he told DriveTribe, an online motoring community he founded with Clarkson and Hammond, how he was also sacked from his job at Autocar for pulling an elaborate prank.

The Driven Celebrities podcast is available to listen to online now.