Jeremy Clarkson details ‘dizzying’ The Grand Tour COVID rules: ‘It hurt me’

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Jeremy Clarkson, 60, revealed that The Grand Tour had begun filming when coronavirus seemed to be “receding”, however the crew quickly realised that there would need to be a number of changes to how things were done. The motor expert stated that he had to maintain a “6ft” distance from his colleagues and could not touch anything on set unless it had been sterilised first.

Pretty tricky in a car

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy revealed: “In the summer, when it seemed as if the virus were receding, we decided to fire up The Grand Tour machine and head north of the border to spend a week or so watching Richard Hammond crash into things.

“I’m not suggesting for a moment that Amazon has a Terry but, my God, the rules of engagement it supplied were dizzying.

“We were to take our own testing lab on the 1,000-mile journey and the key players were to be tested every day, after filling out an online form that began by asking if we’d been tested before. ‘Yes. Yesterday’.

“Everyone on the crew had to maintain a distance of 6ft from one another, which is pretty tricky when you’re in a car. And anything anyone touched had to be sterilised before someone could touch it again,” he added to The Sunday Times.

The guidelines provided meant that locks were taken off the cars used to film, and hosts provided “their own screwdrivers to break in” with.

Jeremy continued: ”The cost of meeting all these requirements was enormous. And that’s before we get to the fact we had to take over entire hotels, rather than rooms, and fly on our own plane.”

Once they arrived in Edinburgh to begin shooting, the cast was provided with COVID swabs by a “burly man” and luckily all 50 crew tested negative for the virus.

Whilst there, the columnist bumped into other TV stars who were also filming their programmes closer to home, including Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer.

However, Jeremy was strictly prohibited from socialising outside of his Grand Tour “bubble”.

“We were not allowed to socialise with or even speak to people from outside our bubble, which wasn’t easy, as every other TV show I can think of was in Scotland too, pegged back from their global aspirations by their own Terrys.

“Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer were there. We passed the producer of A League of Their Own scouting for locations.

“Then there was I’m a Celebrity [… Get Me Out Of Here!]. And, finally, when we got to North Uist, we were greeted on the docks by Joanna Lumley. I wasn’t allowed to get within 6ft of her. That hurt. Well, it hurt me.”

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It comes as Jeremy recently shared how a member of the public scolded him for seemingly ignoring the government’s advice as he went about his daily shop.

The TV host recounted: “A man leapt from his 10-year-old Toyota to do some remonstrating.

“‘Do you not need a mask because you’re on television?’ he bellowed. And he hadn’t finished.

“In fact his lecture, padded out with much profanity, was so lengthy that I never got the chance to interrupt and point out that he wasn’t wearing a mask either.”

The current government ruling is that everyone should wear a mask when they are going to the shops, or risk a fine of up to £6400.

Jeremy recently claimed that there is a divide between the north and south of England on people wearing face masks.

The former Top Gear presenter, who was working in Manchester earlier this year, alleged that in the hotel where he was staying, no one was “wearing anything at all”.

In England, all face coverings are now mandatory in enclosed public spaces including supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and post offices. 

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