Amazon has confirmed that James May is to be first Grand Tour presenter to film a standalone series for its Prime Video streaming service.
In December Amazon confirmed the hit motoring series would return for at least two further runs of road trip specials, in addition to which May and co-stars Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond plus long-time Executive Producer Andy Wilman would each develop their own new shows.
The first of these has now been revealed as Our Man In… Japan with James May, a six part series in which May returns to Japan fifteen years after he first visited the country as a baffled tourist.
This time around he embarks on a quest to understand the unique, extraordinary and complex country.
The birthplace of the haiku and classical art forms driven by the principles of Wabi (stark beauty) and Sabi (natural inspiration) and Yugen (grace and subtlety), Japan is also the place that’s given us Godzilla, Hello Kitty, Cosplay, and some of the strangest obsessions on the planet.
May will embark on an epic journey across all of Japan from North to South, determined to understand why this unique land and its people are the way they are, what drives their whole culture and what their approach to life can teach the rest of us.
He can’t speak the language, he is clueless about Japanese etiquette, but at least he knows there’s a small tree called a banzai…
The new series will be directed by BAFTA TV Award nominee Tom Whitter (James Mays Man Lab, Toy Stories, Apollo 13: The Inside story) for Plum Pictures where it will be exec produced by Will Daws (who has overseen several James May projects including Toy Stories, Man Lab and the Reassembler).
The team start filming today, and will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
“Japan is the most amazing place I’ve ever visited,’ said May.
“Everything about it is a surprise: a boiled sweet, a bullet train, an unexpected ancient temple, and the challenge of eating a single edamame bean with chopsticks. It’s a class A stimulant for all the senses, and an etiquette minefield for the unwary.
“I intend to immerse myself in it completely, in the pursuit of enlightenment and life balance. And I bet the noodles will be fantastic.”
Georgia Brown, Director of Prime Original Series in Europe, said: “We’re incredibly excited to announce this new project with James, which will see him take on an epic thousand mile journey across ancient Japanese islands, mega cities, and all points in between.
“The Grand Tour fans around the world will be delighted to hear that they will have even more James May on their screens. We can’t wait to see what James and his talented team produce from this ambitious adventure.”