The Grand Tour has had to scrap one of its key road trip ideas for its fourth series because of terror threats.
The fourth run of Amazon’s big-budget car show was due to include a road trip from Saudi Arabia, which is technically allied to the West but has a very dubious record on human rights, to Cairo, in Egypt; a country that contains active Islamic State cells.
Arguably such an idea should never really have got off the blackboard anyway, but in his Sunday Times column the 59-year-old Clarkson said producers were “stuck with Slough” and specifically blamed “sporadic and vicious terrorist attacks” for the Cairo journey being dropped. He added:
“This would be an epic journey, except it would mean crossing the Sinai peninsula and, thanks to ISIS, the chances of us all arriving on the other side with heads were slim.”
An idea spanning the Andaman Islands near Thailand was also squashed due to a threat of violence: not from terrorists, but from an archaic and fiercely territorial tribe “that will kill anyone who lands,” the former Top Gear presenter continued.
Other ideas for The Grand Tour that never got off the ground included Australia, because it was deemed too boring and too close to too much media scrutiny. It’s also only four years since Clarkson, Hammond and May visited the southern hemisphere island with Top Gear.
The upcoming fourth series is the first to ditch the tent and be filmed exclusively on location as part of epic road trip ‘specials.’ It’s likely to begin airing this winter.