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Top Gear's James May considers a career in teaching

Top Gear presenter James May has suggested he could become a teacher after the sacking of his colleague Jeremy Clarkson appeared to signal an end to the hit BBC show.

Mr May, who has presented the programme alongside Richard Hammond and Clarkson for 12 years, said he was planning to “go back to a normal life” outside of television and cars.

Speaking at his home, May said: “I might want to do something completely different with my life, I'm quite old now. [I might do] something outside of cars, I always wanted to be a teacher.”

Mr May has hosted a number of spin-off shows, including James May’s 20th Century, which looked at the best inventions and feats of engineering over the past century.

The presenter’s comments come after Clarkson was told he would not have his contract renewed by the BBC following claims of an assault on one of the show’s producers.

Mr May told the Mail Online: “I always said that on the day it ends for me I'll have to be magnanimous and look back and say, ‘Well, that was a stroke of luck, now back to normal life’, and that seems to have happened.

“We did it for 12 years. It's a very big moment in our lives, but nothing was going to last forever. We always knew it wasn't going to last forever. We just didn't know how it was going to end."

He added: “So here I go, I'm about to eat some beans and go back to my normal life.”

Teacher and TES columnist Tom Bennett said his experience with Clarkson would hold him in good stead in the classroom. 

"Teaching is a broad church, and the beauty of it is that you can start at any age," he said. "Second career baby boomers often bring experience and maturity to the classroom that younger recruits sometimes lack. So James could fit right in. Plus, he's got experience of working with despots, so he'll know when to duck."

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