The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond insists scheduled TV will ‘always exist’ after BBC exit

The Grand Tour: Richard Hammond says another special is coming

Richard Hammond is back on Amazon Prime Video in all-new pop-science series, The Great Escapists. Working alongside Mythbusters legend Tory Belleci, the new show marks Richard’s second venture with the streaming service having achieved global success alongside co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May on The Grand Tour. However, a number of fans will undoubtedly remember Richard, Jeremy and James were propelled into stardom following their stint on BBC’s Top Gear prior to their switch to the streaming giant.

For 13 years between 2002 and 2015, the trio became synonymous with the hit BBC motoring magazine show. 

However, after a well-publicised departure, they picked up where they left off on Amazon in The Grand Tour – giving fans their regular dose of motoring expertise and laughs along the way.

While The Great Escapists sees Richard venture into a slightly different ground, it’s an opportunity he heaped praise on Amazon for as it was one that would’ve been almost impossible on terrestrial television.

So with Richard and his colleagues seemingly finding a new home on the streaming service, Richard spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk about how he sees the landscape of television in the future, insisting scheduled TV “will always exist”.

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“I think scheduled TV will probably always exist, but I think on-demand services are going to be in demand,” Richard explained when discussing The Great Escapists’ launch on the platform.

The 51-year-old continued: “There’s a generation of viewers who are growing up and aren’t accustomed to the idea that you’d have to watch whatever somebody else thinks you should watch at a given moment. 

“They want to watch what they want to watch when they want to watch it.”

Paying a special nod to Amazon, Richard detailed further: “And I think platforms like Amazon – it was a brilliant call for Amazon [to run The Great Escapists] because pop-science is not a particularly massive genre. 

“This wasn’t a cheap show to make. I mean, we all had to be got there. So it was a brave call from them to support it and get behind it as they did. 

“But if it works well – and we’ve delivered not only a different subject, pop-science to them, but we’ve delivered an almost [different] genre because this is hybridised/fiction/scripted with factual programming. 

“That’s kind of a new way to go and if it’s well-received, we’d love to go even further with it next time around [laughs].”

While Richard outlined the benefits of on-demand services as opposed to conventional TV such as BBC or ITV, he did explain why he felt they’re here to stay.

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“I think it [scheduled TV] serves a purpose,” he added. “I think there is something to be said for the shared experience for live events – when something is on at a given moment,

“And, you know, you’re watching it but you also know the people over the road, or your friends will be watching it, and then you’ll react afterwards. That still has its place.”

However, Richard did note the difference when it comes to financial backing between terrestrial and streaming programming.

 “I think when someone like Amazon can get behind something, they’ve got the money to invest in it. 

The Great Escapists: Richard Hammond stars in Amazon show

“You know, you couldn’t have made this show on a terrestrial budget. It was ridiculous. 

“You need the support of a major platform to do that. 

“The reward being it has a long life and will last a long time on the platform for them.”

Richard concluded: “So hopefully, they’ll think it was a worthwhile exercise and ask us to do it again.”

The Great Escapists dropped in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video on January 29, with six episodes for fans to binge.

Richard, Jeremy and James all returned in The Grand Tour: A Massive Hunt in December last year, which is also available to stream now.

The Grand Tour trio have already filmed their next special up in Scotland and Richard revealed there are plans to film new content in the coming year.

The Great Escapists is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.

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