The pandemic has caused huge losses to a television company that was founded by Top Gear’s presenters Jeremy Clarkson Richard Hammond, and James May, according to newly filed accounts.
W. Chump & Sons Limited saw its turnover dwindle to just £3.5million in 2020, down from £25million in 2019.
The company manages the stars’ The Grand Tour income and made a loss of £335,000 last year, after generating £412,000 profit in 2019.
Companies House published a note of concern in its annual accounts stating that the directors had considered the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic during the year.
“Due to international travel restrictions remaining in effect, the production schedule was resumed with UK-based productions. Therefore the directors are continuing to use the going concern accounting basis to prepare the final statements.
In 2015, presenters Richard Hammond, James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Andy Wilman, a former Top Gear executive producer, signed a bumper three-deal series with Amazon to create The Grand Tour, reportedly worth £160million
New series: The Grand Tour: Carnage a Trois began airing on Amazon Prime on December 17
In 2020, no dividends were given to Clarkson, Hammond and May, nor producer Andy Wilman, as in 2019.
The firm’s current assets are worth nearly £5.4million but the business owes £5million to creditors which must be paid back within the year.
The company made a pre-tax loss of £368,659 but appears to have recovered £33,642 from the taxman.
Shareholders’ funds are more promising at £3.8m compared to £4.2m in 2019.
The name of the company is said to be a mixture of founders’ initials and Mr Wilman, who was also the producer for The Grand Tour.
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond set up W. Chump & Sons Limited to manage income from The Grand Tour
Jeremy Clarkson films The Grand Tour on Amazon TV. The four men together were largely responsible for reviving Top Gear from its days as stuffy motoring show to one of the BBC’s flagship entertainment programmes
Clarkson, Hammond and May, former Top Gear executives producer, signed three major deals with Amazon in 2015 to start The Grand Tour.
The megabucks deal was reportedly worth £160million. The four then promptly set up W Chump & Sons.
These accounts show company figures through December 2020. They also state that directors want to keep the overheads stable and continue producing high quality programming.
“The directors are pleased with the results of the year as well as the financial position at year-end and they will continue looking for business opportunities in the future.