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Clarkson deal is ‘very, very, very expensive’ for Amazon

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed that landing Clarkson, Hammond and May has cost a fat stack of cash – but has declined to say how much. 

Bagging the classic Top Gear line-up after Jeremy Clarkson’s highly publicised split from the BBC is rumoured to have cost Amazon at least £160 million. It’s the latest high-profile sign up since Amazon launched its TV production arm in response to rival Netflix’s wildly popular Originals shows. 

Other jewels in the Amazon crown include Ripper Streetanother BBC castaway, the award-winning Transparent a second series of which is coming soon plus a still-to-be-titled Woody Allen vehicle

Related: Why Amazon move is a giant middle finger to the BBC and How can I watch Amazon Prime on TV?It is however Clarkson, Hammond and May’s latest venture that’s generated keen interest in the service that costs £5.99/month or £79 a year for customers taking Amazon’s Prime next-day delivery service. 

In an interview with the Telegraph, Bezos is keen to emphasis the range of content Amazon offers. “It can’t just be one show, it has to be a number of things. We have a lot of things in the pipeline, which I think viewers in the UK and around the world are going to love,” Bezos said, before admitting that “Clarkson’s new show is going to be one of those.”

Bezos hailed the current era of on-demand, box set binging as a ‘golden age of television’ where A-list talent now flocks to do serials instead of Hollywood blockbusters. 

“The investment is very high now in serialised TV, and the amount of time you have to tell a story is much greater. That format change opens up a lot of storytelling pvossibilities, which, when mixed with the movie-like production standards, and the A-list talent, is why we’re seeing amazing television.”

Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new show will arrive on Amazon Prime next year. The BBC has signed up Chris Evans as lead presenter on a new-look Top Gear, but hasn’t announced who has been picked to co-present, or even when the new show will be broadcast. 

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