A tweet out of the blue from Jeremy Clarkson finally ended speculation about where the former Top Gear team will end up broadcasting their next motoring show.

 

Amazon has announced that Clarkson, along with Richard Hammond and James May, will start filming later this year, with broadcasts scheduled to begin in 2016. The shows will be exclusive to Amazon Video, which is available to customers who subscribe to the Amazon Prime service.

Long-time Top Gear producer Andy Wilman is also on board for the new show, the name of which has yet to be disclosed.

On leaving the BBC and joining Amazon, Clarkson says: "I feel like I've climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship." 

Top Gear ceased broadcasting during the 22nd series due to a well-publicised falling out between Clarkson and show producer Oisin Tymon. 

Previously, the most popular guess about where the Top Gear trio would end up suggested that Netflix was the most likely home, because the subscription streaming service had the cash to get a rebooted motoring show up and running. Rumours had suggested that the trio's new show could be called House of Cars.

Potential deals with ITV and Sky were thought to be off limits due to contractual clauses preventing the trio from appearing on direct BBC TV rivals until 2017. Streaming services such as Amazon Video are exempted from such restrictions.

The BBC has announced that Top Gear will return with a new presenting team headed by Chris Evans

From Amazon's point of view, the investment in a 'new Top Gear' represents a serious statement of intent.

Amazon Video comes as part of the Amazon Prime package, which costs £79 per year for UK subscribers. For most people, the incentive is to get free delivery of items ordered online, rather than to get access to the streaming video and music services which are also part of the subscription. Being the only place that you can watch Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May could be incentive enough for fans to put their hands in their pockets. The video service is also available for £5.99 per month if you prefer.

Not all Amazon Video content is available to Prime customers and it is not yet clear whether there will be a further charge for those wanting to watch the new show. The main ways to get the broadcasts on your telly are using games consoles, compatible Blu-Ray players or watching Smart TV apps.