Amazon CEO admits deal to bring Jeremy Clarkson to Amazon Prime was ‘very, very, very expensive’

Clarkson will host new show on streaming platform alongside James May and Richard Hammond

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has admitted that it was “very, very, very expensive” to bring the former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to Amazon Prime.

The trio signed a deal with the streaming service earlier this year following their departure from the BBC. All three left following an incident in which Clarkson staged an “unprovoked attack” on a Top Gear producer.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph published today (August 16), Bezos said that the trio are “worth a lot and they know it”.

“We have a lot of things in the pipeline, which I think viewers in the UK and around the world are going to love. And I think Clarkson’s new show is going to be one of those,” Bezos said. “I think we’re in a golden age of television, so if you go back in time even just five years, you couldn’t get A-list talent to do TV serials, or, if you could, it was a rare thing. But that’s flipped completely.”

Bezos added that he believes TV’s ability to offer writers and directors more screen time in which to tell their stories is what sets it apart from film.

“That format change opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities, which, when mixed with the movie-like production standards, and the A-list talent, is why we’re seeing amazing television.”

The trio’s new deal with Amazon commits them to three series of the new motoring show, whose title has yet to be revealed. They are expected to start work on the first series this autumn with the series reaching screens in 2016.

Meanwhile, the BBC announced in June that Chris Evans will take over as host of Top Gear. The BBC has since been holding open auditions to find Evans’ co-presenters on the new-look show.