James May: Top Gear star feared he was having heart attack mid-tour, says ex colleague

James May on 'losing his temper' while making 'Oh Cook!' show

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

While living like a rockstar on the Top Gear stadium tour, James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson fulfilled their wildest ambitions across the world. However, during one eventful night in Australia, James is said to have feared for his life.

ames, our most gentle presenter, thought he was having a heart attack after suffering chest pains following an afternoon performance

Phillipa Sage

In her new book, Phillipa Sage, who travelled across the globe with the famous trio, has unearthed some never-before spoken of stories.

James, 58, became a household name in 1999 after agreeing to appear on Top Gear as a co-presenter, alongside the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Julia Bradbury and Brendan Coogan.

However, his big break came in 2003 when he became a full-time presenter on the newly revived, Top Gear (2002 series) alongside long-term friends Richard Hammond and Jeremy, who appeared alongside James until 2015.

The group of adventure-loving men often put celebrities through their paces in a reasonably priced car or participated in overseas races, crossing terrains such as deserts and cityscapes.

READ MORE: ‘People won’t like it’ Karren Brady swipes at Meghan Markle

However, while taking Top Gear on the road, James reportedly feared that the rock and roll lifestyle may have been too much for him.

Long-term colleague, Phillipa, has detailed the moment James believed he may have been in a life or death situation.

In her new memoir, Off-Road With Clarkson, Hammond and May, she recalled the moment paramedics were rushed in to check on James.

After a “mad” night of travelling through Australia in an old fire engine, the group were left stunned when a member of the crew thought their hotel was on fire.

Speaking of the incident, she said: “What was more of a shock was to see James May exit in his boxer shorts.

“Later James, our most gentle presenter, thought he was having a heart attack after suffering chest pains following an afternoon performance.”

Phillip, who worked on the programme for two decades, added: “Paramedics confirmed no heart attack but not surprisingly he was clearly suffering from stress and the effects of a not so healthy lifestyle.

“After a snooze, he declared he felt better and he would go ahead with the evening’s performance.”

The group, who are famously known for their adrenaline pumping personalities, were “not allowed” to be ill according to Phillipa.

“As a Top Gear presenter, you were not allowed to be ill and certainly weren’t going to get any sympathy, even if you were close to death,” she recalls.

Phillip added: “Jeremy and James joked on this occasion, as they always did if one of them was potentially facing death, about the promise they had made between the three of them, that the first word after announcing publicly the death of any of them would be ‘Anyway…’

“All’s well that ends well. James was still alive and they completed three more days and nights of successful shows.”

Jeremy, who now fronts the Amazon Prime original The Grand Tour alongside Hammond and May, recently revealed that despite their hectic lifestyle, he has been enjoying the peace and serenity of lockdown.

He said: “Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve addressed the issue by sitting on a sofa for six hours a day, eating slabs of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut chocolate and getting up only to go to the fridge for another bottle of wine.”

Despite his love of lockdown, Jeremy was recently seen alongside Richard and James in late April, filming the latest season of The Grand Tour in East Sussex.

Phillippa’s book Off-Road With Clarkson, Hammond and May is available to buy here. 

Express.co.uk has approached James May’s representatives for further comment.

Source: Read Full Article