The Grand Tour

The first episode of Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour has been filmed in a plush outdoor tent in the hills of overlooking Johannesburg, South Africa.

Releasing the first images of its new motoring series, Amazon showed no expense has been spared as part of the deal to secure the former Top Gear trio.

The Grand Tour’s exotic location is a far cry from the empty plane hangar Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond operated out of for more than 15 years on BBC’s Top Gear.

Clarkson was elated after the first studio day on Sunday, tweeting: “God I love Johannesburg”.

As the name suggests, The Grand Tour will be filmed in front of studio audiences at locations around the world instead of having a permanent set.

No date has been set for the premiere, which is expected to hit screens sometime in August.

It’s also unclear whether the show will be available to South Africans fans. The Grand Tour belongs to subscription video-on-demand service Amazon Prime, which is at this stage is unavailable in South Africa.

However, it is expected Amazon will use the launch of The Grand Tour to break into the South Africa market.

Clarkson admitted to being nervous before filming the first episode and revealed he was “crapping” himself.

“We’ve done it hundreds of times. It should be easy. I should be relaxed,” Clarkson wrote in his column for the UK Sun. “But tomorrow, in a field just outside Johannesburg, James May, Richard Hammond and I will record the first studio segment for our new show, The Grand Tour.”

In a Facebook live video recorded later by May, Clarkson said: “Unbelievably, I think it was successful”.

The trio’s fortunes stand in stark contrast to their former show, Top Gear, which just replaced lead host Chris Evans with American actor Matt LeBlanc.

Evans quit the show after just one season, telling fans he had given it his best shot but it wasn’t enough. Ratings for the BBC series are at a record low. More than 4.4 million tuned in for the premiere, but audience numbers had dropped to 1.9 million by the finale.

“Today we opened our new office,” tweeted Hammond. “In South Africa this week. Next week?”

The Grand Tour’s other locations are yet to be announced but Amazon is giving away trips to fans to be part of the studio audience in the UK, US and Germany.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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