The Grand Tour’s James May details ‘less hazardous’ pressures of new role away from show

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Fans of The Grand Tour have been waiting almost a year to see Jeremy, Richard and James return to Amazon Prime Video in the next episode. And luckily, the wait is almost over as the next special titled A Massive Hunt has been penned in for release on December 18 as the trio jet off to Madagascar for a series of extravagant and daring challenges. James, however, has been enjoying a stint on Oh Cook in the slightly less hazardous conditions of a studio kitchen and spoke to Express.co.uk all about the difference between his roles on the two shows.

A Massive Hunt sees Jeremy, James and Richard tackle the climates and terrains on the islands of Madagascar and Reunion.

And in typical The Grand Tour style, there will be plenty of hair-raising races, near-crashes and laughs along the way. 

Oh Cook, on the other hand, sees James take on a number of tricky and delicious-looking dishes in the hopes he can improve his culinary skills.

The cooking show has already proved a hit with Amazon Prime Video subscribers, and James explained exactly why in an exclusive chat.

When asked about the differences in pressure between the two shows, James said: “On the whole, (Oh Cook) was less hazardous, I suppose. 

“And people expect me to know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about if I’m driving a car, I don’t think anybody thinks I’m particularly well versed in cooking or you know, I’m not an authority. 

“But in a lot of ways, the kitchen is quite high pressure because it all happens in real-time, cooking. 

“You can’t really uncook something, once you’ve put the egg into poach, you can’t say, ‘well, I’ll just take that out and do that bit again.’”

He continued: “You’ve got to keep going or you’ve got to start the whole thing again, which we didn’t want to do. 

“And also, everybody there is trying to tell you how to do it and it’s actually quite fractured in the way the kitchens are. 

“That’s true even if you’re not filming. If you’re trying to cook and you’ve got a lot of people interfering that is – I’m sure most domestic fights start either in the kitchen or around the TV remote control.”

On the topic of filming, James also shed new light on what returning to The Grand Tour shooting was like in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jeremy, James and Richard all headed to Scotland a few weeks ago to film another special for the series.

“I wouldn’t say it was necessarily nice,” James said. “But it was nice to get back to doing what we do. 

“It was actually to see the crew again as well because we hadn’t seen that – I had seen Clarkson and Hammond once or twice for some very distant meetings, you know, sort of waving any sort of opposite sizes of a garden or whatever,

“And we saw the crew again, after many, many, many months for the best part of the year, in fact, that was all quite nice and doing it as a bubble.”

James concluded: “Actually, we turned out to be quite good at it. And the thing is, you know, we were in an area of Scotland where there weren’t very many people anyway.

“We didn’t have to interact with the locals, particularly. There are complicated systems of cleaning things, testing things, keeping members of the crew in one crew car, not letting them mix up, only letting one person come into my car to check the cameras and putting some of the kit in the booth. 

“It’s a bit tiresome and pedantic and we have to be tested every day, but it didn’t actually get in the way of filming, to be honest. 

“We can still feel just as real as it was. It’s all the peripheral stuff that becomes a bit more tiresome. You can’t go out to the pub, but then there wasn’t a pub. So you know.”

The Grand Tour returns to Amazon Prime Video on Friday, December 18. 
James May Oh Cook is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.

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