James May: We don't want Sue Perkins trolls as Top Gear fans

James May has criticised Top Gear viewers who sent threatening tweets to Sue Perkins after reports she was going to replace Jeremy Clarkson, saying he did not want them as fans.

Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins recieved abusive tweets before quitting the social media site (Ian West/PA)


The presenter, who is getting ready to tour a Top Gear spin-off around the UK alongside Clarkson and Richard Hammond, suggested online trolls who sent Perkins death threats should go 'kill themselves'.

If you're one of the people sending death threats to @sueperkins could you please do the world a much bigger favour by killing yourself.

— James May (@MrJamesMay) April 15, 2015


Obviously I don't actually want people to kill themselves but, really, we don't want them as fans.

— James May (@MrJamesMay) April 15, 2015


Richard Hammond and James May.

Former Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond and James May (Gareth Fuller/PA)


Perkins, who became a favourite to replace the ousted Clarkson after a flurry of bets, announced she was leaving Twitter for a while yesterday as a result of the abuse.

Guys, post the utterly fabricated story about me & Top Gear, my timeline has been full of blokes wishing me dead…

— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 14, 2015


This morning, someone suggested they'd like to see me burn to death.

— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 14, 2015


All of which goes to say that I am off Twitter for a bit. Love and peace x

— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 14, 2015


The Great British Bake Off host was said to be the front-runner for the job according to bookmakers Coral, with Dermot O’Leary second favourite at 2-1. Actor Philip Glenister, famed for his role as the detective in Life On Mars, has also been mooted as a possible replacement for Clarkson.

The Bake-Off star denied the rumours, resulting in a torrent of abuse from Top Gear fans. Perkins said on Twitter last week:

Just back from night shoot in Kolkata sewers to find my timeline busy with middle-aged man-trolls. General gist: Man do cars, woman do cake

— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 9, 2015


Clarkson was the subject of an internal BBC investigation after he attacked Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, splitting his lip and verbally abusing him in a 30-second assault on March 4.

He was suspended by the broadcaster on March 10 before it announced his contract would not be renewed.


PA Media is the national news agency for the UK and Ireland. With unrivalled access to the performers, productions and celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic, PA Media stories provide an irresistible glimpse into showbiz news. Bringing you all of entertainment's big moments. From daily soaps to film productions, we cover the shows that audiences want to know about with our previews, news and interviews.