Coronavirus UK: Grand Tour’s Jeremy Clarkson arrives in Scottish islands at centre of Covid outbreak


Grand Tour stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond arrive in Scottish islands at centre of Covid outbreak driving classic American motors

  • Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are filming in the Highlands
  • Grand Tour stars sailed from Uig on Skye to Lochmaddy on North Uist yesterday
  • Trio rolled up with classic US cars including a Buick, a Lincoln and a Cadillac
  • Uists have reported a cluster of 38 coronavirus cases, the first on the islands

Grand Tour stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are filming for their Amazon Prime series on Scottish islands at the centre of a coronavirus cluster.

The trio and their crew have been working in the Highlands for the past few days, complete with a mobile coronavirus testing centre.

Their eye convoy of classic American cars, including a Buick, a Lincoln and a Cadillac, boarded the CalMac ferry at Uig on Skye yesterday and sailed to Lochmaddy on North Uist, taking up about half the deck space.

Locals saw the group disembark at the wet and windswept Outer Hebridean port and gather at a crowded carpark near Taigh Chearsabhagh on the island. Clarkson was then seen waving to islanders from the wheel of a blue car.

The Uists have now reported a cluster of 38 coronavirus cases – the first on the islands, and the first positive tests for Covid-19 in the Outer Hebrides since June. The islands previously only had eight cases in total, the lowest in Scotland.

Jeremy Clarkson arriving in the Highlands to film the new series of Amazon’s The Grand Tour

Richard Hammond arriving in the Highlands to film the new series of Amazon's The Grand Tour

Richard Hammond arriving in the Highlands to film the new series of Amazon’s The Grand Tour

James May arriving in the Highlands to film the new series of Amazon's The Grand Tour

James May arriving in the Highlands to film the new series of Amazon’s The Grand Tour

The current cluster is centre on South Uist, but the disease is thought to have spread north to Benbecula via causeways which link the Uists.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said he was surprised by Amazon’s decision to film the new series of The Grand Tour in the area.

‘I hope Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond know what is going on in the Uists and that they have taken the right and sensible precautions,’ he warned.

The crew appear to have their own caravans to ensure they practise social distancing, though it is not known how long the star trio will be in the area.

Grand Tour stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are filming for their Amazon Prime series on Scottish islands at the centre of a coronavirus cluster

Grand Tour stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are filming for their Amazon Prime series on Scottish islands at the centre of a coronavirus cluster

The Uists have now reported a cluster of 38 coronavirus cases – the first on the islands, and the first positive tests for Covid-19 in the Outer Hebrides since June

The Uists have now reported a cluster of 38 coronavirus cases – the first on the islands, and the first positive tests for Covid-19 in the Outer Hebrides since June

Filming starts today at the stunning Valley Strand on the north coast of North Uist. Pontoons are being laid out at low tide to provide a bridge over the tidals sands to Valley Island. 

Clarkson, May and Hammond shot an episode of The Grand Tour in the Highlands two years ago.

This time, they were seen wearing face masks in other locations around the Highlands, including Glentuim Estate. They are taking their masks off while filming.

MailOnline has contacted Amazon for comment. 

Last year, Clarkson and his Grand Tour co-hosts stirred controversy by appearing to mock a Scottish town in an episode of Amazon’s motoring show.

The former BBC Top Gear trio raced in three old Italian cars which they believe to be future classics along the North Coast 500 route through the ‘best parts of Scotland’.

However, beginning their trip in what appears to be Invergordon, the presenters were less than kind about the fishing port town in Easter Ross as they set off into ‘the giant oil painting that is Scotland’.

Clarkson driving a classic American car while filming for the new series of The Grand Tour

Clarkson driving a classic American car while filming for the new series of The Grand Tour 

Hammond driving a classic American car while filming for the new series of The Grand Tour

Hammond driving a classic American car while filming for the new series of The Grand Tour 

Clarkson, May and Hammond shot an episode of The Grand Tour in Scotland two years ago

Clarkson, May and Hammond shot an episode of The Grand Tour in Scotland two years ago 

‘This isn’t exactly like the tourist authority would have you believe, is it?’ said Clarkson, before Hammond referred to the pebble dash-clad houses as being ‘battered’.

‘You can see why they want to be independent can’t you?’ Clarkson quips, as Hammond sarcastically responds, ‘You wouldn’t want people messing all this up, would you?’

The reason for their choice of starting location was ‘simply to annoy’ The Grand Tour’s Scottish producer ‘Gav’, according to Clarkson.

‘That was the only reason we met on a beach full of oil rigs and then drove through a council estate of hypodermic needles.’ 

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