Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer details reason James May was sacked from show

Mike Brewer has claimed James May was dropped from their show because producers were not keen on him.

The car enthusiast, 58, addressed his former co-star and pal to an audience in a special live recording to celebrate 20 years of Wheeler Dealer and spoke about the ups and downs of working in television

“The first episode of Driven was me, James May and Jason Barlow,” Mike recalled. “We had this mad band of brothers, one being a cockney car dealer, James and Jason being motoring journalists.”

He continued: “Somehow we put together this TV show. It was absolutely phenomenal to make. Budgets were great and we sort of made this amazing show that went around reviewing cars.

“But at the end of the first season, they fired James May because nobody liked him. They just thought he was crap.”

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He added: “Me and James became great mates and still are today. But the [producers] said, ‘no, he’s no good for this.’ So he went.”

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

He added: “Me and James became great mates and still are today. But the [producers] said, ‘no, he’s no good for this.’ So he went.”

James recently addressed his time on Driven which he fronted in 1998, but only lasted one season due to being cut from the line-up.

In August the 60-year-old said he fell victim to “early wokeness” after being told they couldn’t have three men together and needed a woman.

On the motoring podcast Fuelling Around, he spilled: “They couldn’t really get rid of Mike Brewer because he had his other shows and he was very popular.

“They couldn’t really get rid of Jason because he was being groomed for greater things and was going to become the editor of Car Magazine and all the rest of it.

“The only target left was me, so I was out of the door, and that was that really. This was an early bit of wokeness, they thought this programme was not quite right because they’ve got three white blokes that are all the same age.”

When asked if he assumed that was the reason for his axe, he said: “They told me they needed to have a woman.”

Following his sacking, the second series featured rally driver Penny Mallory and racing driver Jason Plato, one of the hosts on the podcast alongside Dave Vitty.

James went on to front BBC hit show Top Gear alongside his long-term sidekicks Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond and later The Grand Tour.

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