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James May on ‘The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois’: 'We’ve survived longer than most TV partnerships!'

'The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage a Trois’ sees Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May asking questions of French cars.
'The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage a Trois’ sees Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May asking questions of French cars. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Grand Tour Presents is back! Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have never been afraid of being outspoken, and in their latest motoring special, Carnage A Trois they pose the question: "What’s the matter with the French?" 

In search of answers, the petrolhead pals look at some typically idiosyncratic French car designs, including the bizarre "helicar" which comes complete with a huge propeller. They also stage a rallycross race in hot French hatchbacks, take three Gallic family cars offroad up a mountain, and, in a grand finale, select which motor they will attempt to fire back across the Channel using a giant catapult.

We caught up with The Grand Tour presenter James May for an interview to find out more about their French-themed caper Carnage A Trois

‘The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage a Trois’ release date

The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois is available worldwide from Friday 17 December on Amazon Prime Video. 

What are the best things about French cars?

The Grand Tour

The 'true people's car', the Citroen 2CV. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Grand Tour Presents star James May says: “The 2CV was a fantastic example of a true people’s car, designed to meet the needs of someone who wanted basic transport. They also did that with the Renault 4. And they’re absolute masters of the hatchback.”

And the worst? 

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The 'only vaguely successful French luxury car’, the Citroen DS. (Image credit: Amazon Prime)

“French cars have had a reputation for fragility, and their larger cars are often underpowered and slightly lacklustre. The only vaguely successful French luxury car has been the Citroen DS.”

What did you enjoy most about making this special? 

The Grand Tour

James and the Giant Catapult. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

James May says: “I liked firing the trebuchet [giant catapult], because I’ve never done that before. And I was surprised how much I enjoyed the hot hatch race. But I felt bad about it afterwards because I’m not supposed to enjoy that sort of thing.”

The Grand Tour

Le ‘hatch chaud' is a French speciality (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Which British car do you think the French should fire back across the Channel?

The Grand Tour

The Morris Minor is ‘a stupid car' (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

James says: “The obvious answer would be the Austin Allegro or the Morris Marina. But I would have the French throw the Morris Minor at us. We all think it’s important to the nature of Britain because ‘my grandmother had one’, and it was always being driven by midwives. But it’s just a stupid car that was incorrectly built. So if the French would like to gather up all the survivors and catapult them at Kent, they can do us a favour.”

You’ve worked together for so long now. What’s the secret of your enduring success as a threesome? 

The Grand Tour

‘A difficult relationship‘: James May with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

James says: “We’ve survived longer than most TV partnerships and one of the ways we do that is to go off and do our own things. It's like being in a relationship and having time to yourself in the shed, or in your attic, or in your line dancing club. It’s a difficult relationship. There are three people in it. That’s never healthy!”

Is there a trailer for ‘The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage a Trois’?