Since 2016, Jeremy Clarkson has been hosting the Amazon Prime-produced show The Grand Tour along with Richard Hammond and James May. But, before parting ways with the BBC, the co-hosts had plenty of memorable moments on the long-running show Top Gear.
One of these moments happened back in 1997, during the filming of a Top Gear episode in Detroit, Michigan. What started as the scouting out of an abandoned train station as a film set ended in Clarkson being held up at gunpoint by a local gang, as the former host recently recalled.
“Somebody held a gun against my head in Detroit,” Clarkson recalled, according to The Drive. “It’s a long, complicated story but we were trying to do some filming and some people thought we were trespassing on their turf. It was pretty nasty. And this time, 100 yards from where that happened, I was having dumplings in a goose broth.”
“I’m sure if you actually lived there you wouldn’t call it interesting, you’d call it dangerous,” Clarkson continued. “But the chrome shoots of rejuvenation are growing again so you can actually eat quite well there, you can stay in a nice hotel, you can go short distances from A to B without being shot.”
Looking back on the terrifying moment, an unidentified member of the Top Gear film crew added, “Jeremy was filming in a ruined railway station but was warned by cops not to go inside as there were warring gang factions operating.”
“But he ignored the advice and was surrounded by gangs.”
Despite the intense gang run-in, Clarkson has gone back to Detroit to shoot footage multiple times over the course of his TV show career.
Per The Drive:
Clarkson has since returned to Detroit on multiple occasions to film without any apparent further incident. In the first episode of the upcoming third season of Amazon’s The Grand Tour, Clarkson and company revisit the city in a trio of modified American muscle and pony cars, specifically a Ford Mustang RTR Stage 3, a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, and a Chevrolet Camaro “Exorcist” by Hennessey Performance.
In the new Detroit episode, the three will turn an abandoned car factory into a race track, making peace with the city that once threatened one of the presenters’ lives.
Hopefully, Clarkson doesn’t find himself face-to-face with any dangerous gangs, whether from Detroit or elsewhere, anytime soon.