Andy Wilman was interviewed by Freddy Clode in September 2019.
Andy Wilman gave an exclusive interview in September 2019 to the Home & Hosed Podcast. In this three-part interview we hear him telling everything from his youth till now. Andy Wilman is the executive producer of The Grand Tour.
Meeting with Jeremy Clarkson
In this first part of the series Andy talks about how he learned to know Jeremy Clarkson. They were both students at Repton School in Repton, Derbyshire. Clarkson and Wilman both lived in the same house where they meet for the first time.
In a short period of time they became, despite their age difference and the fact that they weren’t in the same class they became mates. Mainly because both of them usually came in trouble.
Clarkson was in the end expelled by Repton school, but Wilman finished Repton.
After Repton School
After Repton Andy was busy with his Punk Band which was a reason for him no to go to University. He did some sidejobs which all went wrong. So in the end he gave in and went to University.
He worked hard and did American and Russian studies. That last one caused him to stay in Russia for a few months in a student exchange program. He thought to have learned enough to became a spy. But he failed a simple intelligence test…
Into the Car World
Then Jeremy Clarkson contacted him. Clarkson had together with Jonathan Gill a press agency. He encouraged Andy to become a writer for car magazines. But Wilman kept his doubts. Jeremy said to him there were people working on publishing a new car magazine. In the end Wilman got that job and stayed there for two and a half year.
He was asked to step over from Auto Express to.Top Gear Magazine which was about to be launched. Wilman was poached to be a feature editor. His job was to get around the world to find stories, locations etc.
Then Clarkson was.offered the show Motorworld. He said to the people at the BBC, that´s fine, I want to do it.. But Andy Wilman has to come too. So they started out with five people and Andy called himself, without knowing what it was, a producer.
It was a very layback show. They did various episodes around the world and had a great time. Wilman had no idea what a budget was, so they didn´t worried about that.
In the end it turned out to be a great succes. They got enormous viewing rates with a maximum of 7 milllion views for an Iceland special.
After that they did another show called extreme machines.
The BBC said to Jeremy Clarkson he was waisted on doing car shows and things like airplanes. They offered him his own show called “Clarkson”. According to Wilman this was the show where he really learned to present. Instead of all the shows where he only did pre-filmed segments this show made him to a real TV host.