Jeremy Clarkson, Hammond and May for new show on Amazon

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Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed a deal with Amazon Prime for a new car show.

Clarkson was dropped from the hit BBC car show earlier this year, after a ‘fracas’ in which he allegedly assaulted a producer. Hammond and May also both departed following the incident.

However, after a bidding war that reportedly involved several major TV and online networks, the trio have signed a deal for a new car show with ‘Transparent’ network Amazon Prime.

The move is an unexpected step for Amazon’s streaming service – which found its biggest success last year with the niche transgender-based drama.

Clarkson, Hammond, May and former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman have all signed up to the Amazon deal, which is for a three-series deal with Amazon.

Production on the first series is set to begin soon, while the series is expected to launch next year – though it will make a clean break from Top Gear branding.

The show’s name is yet to be confirmed.

Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.”

May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”

Hammond said: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.”

Clarkson recently ‘joked’ on Twitter about he and Richard Hammond becoming “fudge packers” – a pejorative term for gay men – during a visit to a fudge factory in Australia.

TV presenter Sue Perkins was earlier this yearforced to take a break from Twitter after she received death threats over her becoming favourite to host Top Gear.

However, Chris Evans was eventually appointed as the show’s new host – and is holding “open auditions” for other members of the team, to replace Richard Hammond and James May.

Clarkson apologised last year for a tweet he sent containing a picture of himself with a sign saying “gay c*nt”.

Clarkson tweeted the image featuring fellow Top Gear host James May, along with the caption “Sadly, I fell asleep on the plane.”

Piers Morgan tweeted to criticise the Top Gear presenter for the tweet, noting his “flabby neck”.

In 2010, Clarkson was criticised for appearing on the show with Alistair Campbell, and in a scene which was deleted saying: “I demand the right not to be bummed.”