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By Steven McIntosh
Leisure reporter

picture copyrightAmazon Studios

picture captionIt took actual boules to movie some scenes within the new Madagascar particular

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James Might try to search out pirate treasure of their new particular, The Grand Tour presents: A Huge Hunt.

The trio head to Madagascar for his or her newest Amazon movie, with little greater than a automotive every and a historic treasure map.

The problem begins with the story of an 18th Century pirate often called La Buse (The Buzzard).

Legend has it that, earlier than he died, he buried his treasure – value £100m in at the moment’s cash – someplace within the Seychelles.

When he was lastly captured and executed in 1730, he hurled a bit of parchment into the gang, shouting: “My treasure for he who can perceive!”

picture copyrightGetty Photographs

picture captionLa Buse (left), who was executed in 1730, and his tomb on the French island of La Reunion

The parchment contained a 17-line cryptogram which apparently revealed the place his treasure was buried. However provided that somebody was capable of decipher it.

Many have tried and failed over the centuries to find the loot. We have been chatting with Clarkson, Hammond and Might about their very own hunt (and some different issues in between).

1. Some had been extra hopeful about discovering the treasure than others

picture copyrightAmazon Studios

picture captionHammond was essentially the most optimistic of the group about genuinely discovering the treasure

In the midst of the 90-minute particular, Might makes an honest and critical try to crack the codes. Which raises the query, did the workforce ever suppose they could

truly uncover the treasure?

“Sure! I did all alongside,” says the lovably enthusiastic Hammond. “I am an enormous fan of all of that stuff. It is historic indisputable fact that a number of these folks did exist, as did their treasure. So that you by no means know, there was an opportunity.”

Govt producer Andy Wilman has a barely totally different response after we put the identical query to him.

“Are you mentally deranged?” he asks us, which we’ll take as a no.

“I am going to inform you what it did do, it made you a child once more. I am getting paid to hunt for buried treasure, like I am seven. It is a kind of conditions the place your tongue has received to return by means of your cheek. So the viewer can see [we know] that that is nonsense. However you go together with it due to the journey, it is an ideal journey to go on.”

2. The title (surprisingly) wasn’t their concept

picture copyrightAmazon Studios

picture captionA Huge Hunt was filmed previous to the coronavirus pandemic

You may need thought that the workforce would have a tough time topping the title of final 12 months’s particular, The Grand Tour presents: Seamen, which noticed the trio swap automobiles for boats. However they’ve outdone themselves right here.

So whose concept was The Grand Tour presents: A Huge Hunt?

“You will not consider me after I inform you, but it surely was the folks we work for,” reveals Wilman. “Previous large company Amazon.

“We had been batting titles backwards and forwards and it was like ‘finest one wins’. After which I received a textual content from their head of promoting and I used to be like, ‘oh yeah, recreation over, our work is completed now’.”

3. Madagascar: Worse than Swindon

picture copyrightAmazon Studios
picture captionMight says he is by no means pushed on a highway as troublesome as this one in Madagascar

Maybe essentially the most extraordinary part of the brand new particular comes when the trio have to search out their manner alongside a highway in Madagascar – though the phrase “highway” is being reasonably beneficiant.

“It is extraordinary that it is truly marked on a map as a factor you possibly can drive a automobile on,” says a bewildered Clarkson. “I am not shocked the Madagascans threw the French out if that was their concept of a highway, as a result of it simply is not one.”

Might admits: “By way of attempting to get your automotive to the tip, we actually thought close to the start of filming that we merely weren’t going to have the ability to do it.

“I’ve by no means pushed on a highway that troublesome to easily negotiate. It is worse than the centre of Swindon, with all these mini roundabouts. You would spend the remainder of your life there when you’re not cautious.”

4. Clarkson stays unconvinced by electrical automobiles

picture copyrightAmazon Studios

picture captionClarkson woke as much as the problem of local weather change final 12 months – however hasn’t modified his way of life

You might keep in mind Clarkson publicly acknowledged local weather change for the primary time in final 12 months’s particular, after the terrible circumstances the workforce witnessed in Cambodia. However that does not imply he is about to vary his behaviour.

“I’ve simply ordered a brand new Bentley, with a V8 engine, in order that’s the place I stand,” he says. “[Hammond and May] each have electrical automobiles now however I am carbon offsetting them.”

He refers to latest studies of “appalling” little one slavery within the Democratic Republic of Congo, after the massive surge in demand for cobalt – a vital steel for electrical automotive batteries.

“They’re additionally very costly and fully impractical and have the persona of a vacuum cleaner but when that is what you want, assist your self to an electrical automotive.”

5. And it is in all probability finest you do not point out cycle lanes to him both

picture copyrightPA Media

picture captionExtra cycle lanes have sprung up in London this 12 months as a method to keep away from public transport

…as a result of it seems like he had fairly a traumatic expertise travelling to the press launch.

“It took me three hours to get to the place I’m this morning, as a result of the Mayor of London is an imbecile,” he says along with his typical tact. “He is simply turned the entire rattling metropolis right into a cycle lane.

“I do not thoughts one or two cycle lanes the place it is handy however he is put one within the Euston underpass. I imply, the person’s a maniac and should be stopped.”

Clarkson has all the time loved being provocative with the issues he says, however we thought we would higher put these feedback to the Mayor of London.

A spokesman for Mayor Sadiq Khan informed us: “London is going through an air high quality disaster which is inflicting hundreds of deaths per 12 months and exacerbating the bodily results of Covid-19. Half of poisonous emissions within the metropolis are brought on by highway transport.

“These insurance policies are about saving lives and Sadiq makes no apologies for the non permanent emergency measures he has put in place to encourage the massive enhance in biking we have seen for the reason that pandemic started which can be enabling social distancing on public transport. We mustn’t get by means of one public well being disaster solely to face one other brought on by congestion and poisonous air air pollution.”

6. The workforce hope viewers would possibly fancy a crack

picture copyrightAmazon Studios

picture captionJames Might encourages viewers to attempt to crack the cryptogram, which is out there on-line

After the particular is launched subsequent month, James Might hopes it would immediate renewed curiosity with the general public to find the treasure.

“The coded message is out there in varied books and on-line, and there are a lot of methods of studying it and deciphering it, as I hope I confirmed, but when different folks wish to have a crack at it, I believe that will be very attention-grabbing,” he says.

“Even when you did handle to translate it, it will be in an outdated language which we’re not very acquainted with, so getting throughout to what it truly means goes to require huge analysis information and interpretative abilities. However even when it is only for a little bit of enjoyable, I hope folks nonetheless have a go at it, it is fairly absorbing truly.”

7. The subsequent particular will probably be in Scotland

Wilman describes having to edit the Madagascar movie over Zoom as “a dwelling hell”.

Lockdown additionally meant the workforce needed to get artistic after they started filming their subsequent particular, and discover one thing to do inside the UK.

“We had been attempting to consider totally different choices, and the place we ended up was we simply shot one not too long ago up in Scotland, a sort of mini coronavirus particular, which will probably be 60-odd minutes reasonably than 90,” Wilman explains

picture copyrightAmazon Studios
picture captionAll three Grand Tour stars received their very own deal for a solo present after they signed with Amazon

However how for much longer will the trio proceed doing The Grand Tour? They have been with Amazon since 2015, and had been on Prime Gear for 13 years earlier than that.

“I’m conscious of ageing, and maybe the necessity to develop up, now I am within the second half of my 50s,” says Might. “However I believe we’ll do it for a bit but as a result of, to be trustworthy, folks need us to, and it will be fallacious of us to disappoint them.

“However finally one in all us goes to snap, sure. Most likely me. I am fairly fragile, actually.”

Wilman explains that he and the trio all received particular person solo offers after they signed with Amazon, which meant every was given their very own collection along with engaged on The Grand Tour.

In consequence, Clarkson has completed a farming collection, Hammond has a forthcoming survivalist present, whereas James Might not too long ago launched his personal cookery programme. “I’ve nonetheless received one to do,” Wilman says, though provides that he’ll stay behind the scenes reasonably than on display screen.

“We would love to do two [Grand Tour specials] a 12 months, that was the plan. We have nonetheless received two to do, on our present contract. And that is about proper, two permits us to do different issues, and maintain Grand Tour going.”

The Grand Tour presents: A Huge Hunt will launch Friday 18 December on Amazon Prime Video.

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