JAMES May has completely ruled out returning to Top Gear without sacked co-host Jeremy Clarkson, insisting the show would be “lame” with a new presenter.
But he added that he wants to continue working for the BBC and did not rule out the three presenters one day making a comeback.
The 52-year-old presenter told The Guardian: “Me and [Richard] Hammond with a surrogate Jeremy is a non-starter – it just wouldn’t work. That would be lame. Or ‘awks’ as young people say.
“It has to be the three of us. You can’t just put a surrogate Jeremy in and expect it to carry on. It would deb forced. I don’t believe they would be stupid enough to try that.
“It doesn’t mean I won’t go back – we may all go back in the future. It might just be we have a break from it. I don’t know.”
May’s latest admission has left the future of Top Gear in the brink.
There are currently no Top Gear talks ongoing with May or co-host Hammond, whose contracts both expired last month.
But there is speculation that the BBC could bring the show back next year with an all-new presenter lineup.
May also hinted at the three presenting a different motoring show on a rival broadcaster, saying there was “nothing to rule [it] out”.
Although for the moment they have a non-compete clause in their contracts which prevents them from making the switch too soon.
The BBC did not renew Clarkson’s contract last month following a “fracas” in which the presenter punched producer Oisin Tymon in the face and repeatedly verbally abused him.