Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear pals want taxpayer dollars to save DriveTribe - report

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May. Photo credit: DriveTribe

The hosts of Top Gear and The Grand Tour are reportedly seeking money from UK taxpayers to help with Drivetribe, which has lost them millions.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May launched the motoring website in 2016 and are said to have poured a fortune into it, along with investment from the likes of 21st Century Fox,  Elisabeth Murdoch and early Facebook backer Jim Breyer.

Clarkson described it as "YouPorn for cars", but the venture has struggled from the get-go.

It lost £8.3 million (NZ$16.2 million) in its first year and £5.3 million (NZ$10.4 million) in its second, but earlier this month announced it expected to turn its first profit in 2020, reported Deadline.

But now, according to a UK tabloid, Clarkson and his friends are asking for a helping hand from taxpayers.

"[DriveTribe] bosses hope they will receive £750,000 in development and research tax credit by the end of the year, followed by another £500,000 next July," reports Andrew Jameson in the Daily Star.

Just months after DriveTribe launched, its CEO Ernesto Schmitt stepped down.

He was replaced by Jonathan Morris, who has reiterated that DriveTribe plans to be profitable by late 2020.

"With any start-up, there is a building period where the company spends investment to create a brand, product and technology," the Daily Star quotes Morris as saying.

"Then a growth period where we focus on becoming a market leader and turning a profit. We are now in that growth period."

Clarkson, Hammond and May retain control of the company, along with Andy Wilman, who has produced Top Gear and The Grand Tour.

Newshub.

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