May, 52, and Hammond, 45, have refused to carry on making the show without their embattled colleague. They could launch legal action if the show is axed claiming loss of earnings.

“It is very much an all for one and one for all attitude,” said a source. “Their future is very much tied up in Jeremy’s.

Isn’t it funny to see three men who have mercilessly attacked Unions use “collective action” as a means of negotiaton.