The Grand Tour Madagascar adventure geared up for Amazon release

entertainment
The Grand Tour Madagascar Adventure Geared Up For Amazon Release The Grand Tour Madagascar Adventure Geared Up For Amazon Release
Share this article

Danielle de Wolfe, PA

“Boulders the size of washing machines and ruts so deep you could fall into them.” It is, according to The Grand Tour presenter Jeremy Clarkson, a fitting description of the perils served up by the island of Madagascar for the Amazon show's latest instalment.

Remotely situated in the Indian Ocean, both Madagascar and Reunion Island, 435 miles to the east, are locations for the forthcoming Amazon Prime special, The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt.

Following on from the trio’s last adventure, which saw them swapping cars for boats in order to explore the South China Sea as part of The Grand Tour Presents: Seamen, the intrepid explorers are set to return, this time opting for the familiar comfort of four wheels and dry land. Their mission, as always, remains a little unconventional.

Advertisement

Embarking on a treasure hunt that has evaded some of the greatest and most creative minds on the planet, including that of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, presenters Jeremy Clarkson (60) James May (57) and Richard Hammond (50) set out in search of glory (and riches).

“I’d never been, so I came up with this idea that we should go to Madagascar,” says Clarkson. “Hammond is obsessed with pirates, so he jumped up and down and squeaked a lot when I said it, and then much to my better judgment, we decided it was going to be a pirate-based story.”

It’s a topic of conversation co-presenter Hammond is quick to enthuse about. “I love the romance, the idea of a pirate era because I’m a child,” he declares. “Supposedly a very famous pirate scattered his treasure there and then threw clues to the crowd shortly before he was hung.”

Location

“It’s bigger than Germany, that’s what people don’t realise. It’s an enormous country and it’s absolutely spectacular,” notes Clarkson of their Madagascan filming location.

Advertisement

“Half the time you’ve got quite a sheer drop down to the sea below, albeit the very inviting, warm Indian Ocean, azure blue sea with a nice white beach along it.

“I think the most beautiful place I’ve ever been is the Seychelles and actually, geologically speaking, Madagascar’s probably from the same rock formation.”

The mission

Each equipped with a sports car of their choosing, the trio first embark on a drag race along Reunion Island’s coastal highway, the most expensive stretch of road ever built, at a cost of €1.7 billion.

“We were the first people ever to drive on it,” remarks Clarkson.

At this point, things take a turn for the dramatic, as series producer 'Mr Wilman' signals for the presenters to embark on their next task: track down the buried treasure.

Taking on one of the world’s most treacherous roads as part of their mission, Madagascar’s Route Nationale 5, the three sports cars undergo extensive modifications in a bid to make it across the treacherous landscape.

Life after Madagascar

Advertisement

With filming for the special taking place prior to Covid and the resulting national lockdown, editing was the only stage notably impacted.

However, given the sheer amount of time the presenters spend in each others’ company, how would they survive being locked down in a house together?

“There’s two answers there,” notes Hammond.

“One, my immediate answer is a sense of utter revulsion and terror at the very prospect – dear God. But actually, do you know what? Probably better than most, because we’ve been working and living together in a bubble for 20 years anyway.

“A while ago, I was making my breakfast – spreading some Marmite on toast – and James was standing there and he suddenly erupted.

"It turns out he hates the way I spread my Marmite to the edge of the toast and just detonated at me – and that’s when we both stopped and realised we have spent too long together.

Advertisement

"It’s not only the fact he’s noticed that, it’s that for some years that’s been annoying him – the way I make my own breakfast. It speaks of how many breakfasts we’ve all shared together.”

The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt launches Friday, December 18th on Amazon Prime Video.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2022, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com