James May Won't Host 'Top Gear' With 'Surrogate' Jeremy Clarkson

Apr 23, 2015 04:25 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Too no surprise, "Top Gear" co-host James May will not return to the popular UK program without his buddy Jeremy Clarkson, according to The Guardian.

May, 52, said he would never work with a "surrogate" Clarkson, calling any idea of him and co-host Richard Hammond presenting "Top Gear" without their fired comrade "lame, or 'awks' as young people say."

Would he be willing to do another show with his former co-hosts in the future? Maybe, but only when the time is right.

"It has to be the three of us. You can't just put a surrogate Jeremy in and expect it to carry on. It would be forced," May said to The Guardian. "I don't believe they would be stupid enough to try that."

"It doesn't mean I won't go back, we may all go back in the future. It might just be we have a break from it."

BBC decided not to resign Clarkson after 12 years on March 25 for getting into a verbal and physical altercation with show producer Oisin Tymon at a hotel, supposedly over the lack of hot food available. 

Clarkson had also been the subject of a number of other incidents in the past, including being arrested for drunk driving and using an ethnic slur during filming of a BBC2 show.

Both May and Hammond's "Top Gear" contracts expired last month, meaning the BBC could choose to go with new presenters in order to keep the show alive or just nix the show altogether.

May later confirmed on his Twitter account that he has not quit the BBC, so future projects are still up in the air. Just not "Top Gear."

Interestingly enough, May mentioned to The Guardian that the BBC hasn't "completely closed the door" on Clarkson returning in the future once the incident dies down.

"They've not banned him or fired him, only just not renewed his contract for the moment," said May. "It's a subtle difference but an important one."

"Top Gear" is recognized by Guinness World Records as the most-watched factual show of all time, covering 212 territories around the globe.

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