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Richard Hammond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Mark Hammond (born 19 December 1969) is an English television presenter, writer, and journalist. He is best known for co-hosting the BBC Two car programme Top Gear from 2002 until 2015 with Jeremy Clarkson and James May. In 2016, Hammond began presenting The Grand Tour television series, produced by W. Chump & Sons. The show is co-presented with his former Top Gear co-hosts, Clarkson and May, as an exclusive distributed via Amazon Video to Amazon Prime customers.

In November 2016, Hammond, alongside the co-presenters of The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, launched the automotive social media website DriveTribe, where he regularly provides content on his tribe "Hammond's Fob Jockeys".[3] He has also presented Brainiac: Science Abuse (2003–2008), Total Wipeout (2009–2012) and Planet Earth Live (2012).

Early life

Richard Mark Hammond was born the oldest of three boys on 19 December 1969[citation needed] in Solihull, and is the grandson of workers in the Birmingham car industry.[4][5] In the mid-1980s Hammond moved with his family (mother Eileen (née Dunsby)[6], father Alan, and younger brothers Andrew, writer of the 'Crypt' series, and Nicholas) to the North Yorkshire cathedral city of Ripon located 10 miles south of the market town of Bedale, and 8 miles south of the historic village of Thornton Watlass where his father ran a probate business in the market square. He attended Blossomfield Infant School in Solihull's Sharmans Cross district from the age of 3–7. Originally a pupil of Solihull School, a fee-paying boys' independent school, he moved to Ripon Grammar School, and from 1986 to 1988 attended Harrogate College of Art and Technology.


After graduation, Hammond worked for several BBC radio stations, including Radio Cleveland, Radio York, Radio Cumbria, Radio Leeds and Radio Newcastle.[7]

Presenting the afternoon programme at Radio Lancashire, his regular guests included motoring journalist Zogg Zieglar, who would review a car of the week by being interviewed by Hammond over the phone. The two became good friends, and it was Zieglar who encouraged Hammond to enter into motoring reviews on television. After starting out on satellite TV, he auditioned for Top Gear.[7]

Top Gear

Hammond with James May and Jeremy Clarkson at Top Gear Live Italia in 2014
Hammond with James May and Jeremy Clarkson at Top Gear Live Italia in 2014

Hammond became a presenter on Top Gear in 2002, when the show began in its revamped format. He is sometimes referred to as "The Hamster" by fans and his co-presenters on Top Gear due to his name and relatively small stature compared to May and Clarkson.[8] His nickname was further reinforced when on three occasions in series 7, he ate cardboard,[9] mimicking hamster-like behaviour.

Following a high-speed dragster crash while filming in September 2006 near York, Hammond returned in the first episode of series 9 (broadcast on 28 January 2007) to a hero's welcome, complete with dancing girls, aeroplane-style stairs and fireworks. The show also contained images of the crash, which had made international headlines, with Hammond talking through the events of the day after which the audience broke into spontaneous applause. Hammond then requested that the crash never be mentioned on the show again, though all three Top Gear presenters have since referred to it in jokes during the news segment of the programme. He told his colleagues, "The only difference between me now, and before the crash, is that I like celery now and I didn't before".[10]

Following the BBC's decision not to renew Clarkson's contract with the show on 25 March 2015,[11] Hammond's contract expired on 31 March.[12] In April he ruled out the possibility of continuing to present Top Gear, commenting via Twitter that "amidst all this talk of us 'quitting' or not: there's nothing for me to 'quit' not about to quit my mates anyway".[13] On 12 June 2015 the BBC confirmed that Top Gear will return with a 75-minute special, combining two unseen challenges featuring all three presenters from series 22, with studio links from Hammond and May. It aired in the UK on BBC Two on 28 June at 8 p.m, and in the United States on BBC America on 13 July at 9 p.m.

Vampire dragster crash

During filming of a Top Gear segment at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York on 20 September 2006, Hammond was injured in the crash of the jet-powered car he was piloting.[14][15][16]:1 He was travelling at 319 mph (513 km/h) at the time of the crash.[17]

His vehicle, a dragster called Vampire, was theoretically capable of travelling at speeds of up to 370 mph (595 km/h).[15] The vehicle was the same car that in 2000, piloted by Colin Fallows, set the British land speed record at 300.3 mph (483.3 km/h).[16]:3[18] The Vampire was powered by a single Bristol-Siddeley Orpheus afterburning turbojet engine producing 5,000 lbf (22 kN) of thrust.[19]

Some accounts suggested that the accident occurred during an attempt to break the British land speed record,[14][20] but the Health and Safety Executive report on the crash found that a proposal to try to officially break the record was vetoed in advance by Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, due to the risks and complexities of such a venture.[16]:4 The report stated: "Runs were to be carried out in only one direction along a pre-set course on the Elvington runway. Vampire’s speed was to be recorded using GPS satellite telemetry. The intention was to record the maximum speed, not to measure an average speed over a measured course, and for (Hammond) to describe how it felt."[16]:1

Hammond was completing a seventh and final run to collect extra footage for the programme when his front-right tyre failed,[16]:8[21] and, according to witness and paramedic Dave Ogden, "one of the parachutes had deployed but it went on to the grass and spun over and over before coming to a rest about 100 yards from us."[22] The emergency crew quickly arrived at the car, finding it inverted and partially embedded in the grass.[20] During the roll, Hammond's helmet had embedded itself into the ground, flipping the visor up and forcing soil into his mouth and damaging his left eye. Rescuers felt a pulse and heard the unconscious Hammond breathing before the car was turned upright.[20] Hammond was cut free with hydraulic shears, and placed on a backboard.[16]:9 "He was regaining consciousness at that point and said he had some lower back pain".[20] He was then transported by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the neurological unit of the Leeds General Infirmary.[14][16]:9[23] Hammond's family visited him at the hospital along with Top Gear co-presenters James May and Jeremy Clarkson.[22][23] Clarkson wished Hammond well, saying "Both James and I are looking forward to getting our 'Hamster' back", referring to Hammond by his nickname.[14][22] For five weeks while Hammond was recovering in hospital, Clarkson sent a funny message to Mindy, Hammond's wife, every day to try to keep her going. Hammond thought if everyone found out, Clarkson would "die of shame" "cos it makes him look soppy".[24]

The Health & Safety Executive report stated that "Hammond's instantaneous reaction to the tyre blow-out seems to have been that of a competent high performance car driver, namely to brake the car and to try to steer into the skid. Immediately afterwards he also seems to have followed his training and to have pulled back on the main parachute release lever, thus shutting down the jet engine and also closing the jet and afterburner fuel levers. The main parachute did not have time to deploy before the car ran off the runway."[16]:13 The HSE notes that, based on the findings of the North Yorkshire Police (who investigated the crash), "the accident may not have been recoverable", even if Hammond's efforts to react were as fast as "humanly possible".[16]:13

Hammond made his first TV appearance since the crash on the BBC chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 22 December, just three months after the incident, where he revealed he was in a severe coma for two weeks and afterwards suffered from post-traumatic amnesia and a five-second memory.[25] Despite saying he was "absolutely fixed" on the Jonathan Ross episode, in 2011, while talking to the Daily Mirror, Hammond admitted he had no memory of the interview, saying: "I lost a year. I don’t remember doing the interview with Jonathan Ross or doing Top Gear Live in South Africa" showing the full impact of his brain injury 5 years before.[26][better source needed]

The crash was shown on an episode of Top Gear on 28 January 2007 (Season 9, Episode 1); this was the first episode of the new series, which had been postponed pending Hammond's recovery. Hammond requested at the end of the episode that his fellow presenters never mention the crash again, a request which has been generally observed, although occasional oblique references have been made by all three presenters. On The Edge: My Story, which contains first-hand accounts from both Hammond and his wife about the crash, immediate aftermath, and his recovery, was published later that year.

In February 2008, Hammond gave an interview to The Sunday Times newspaper in which he described the effects of his brain injuries and the progression of his recovery.[27] He reported suffering loss of memory, depression and difficulties with emotional experiences, for which he was consulting a psychiatrist.[27][28] He also talked about his recovery in a 2010 television programme where he interviewed Sir Stirling Moss and they discussed the brain injuries they had both received as a result of car crashes.[29]

Brainiac: Science Abuse

In 2003, Hammond became the first presenter of Brainiac: Science Abuse; he was joined by Jon Tickle and Charlotte Hudson in series 2.[30] After the fourth series it was announced that Hammond was no longer going to present the Sky1 show after he signed an exclusive deal with the BBC. Vic Reeves took his place as main presenter.[31]

Other television work

Early in his career, as well as his radio work, Hammond presented a number of daytime lifestyle shows and motoring programmes such as Motor Week on Men & Motors.

He presented the Crufts dog show in 2005, the 2004 and 2005 British Parking Awards, and has appeared on School's Out, a quiz show on BBC One where celebrities answer questions about things they learned at school. He has also presented The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend.[32] Along with his work on Top Gear, he presented Should I Worry About...? on BBC One, Time Commanders on BBC Two and the first four series of Brainiac: Science Abuse on Sky 1. He was also a team captain on the BBC Two quiz show, Petrolheads, in which a memorable part was one where Hammond was tricked into bumping his classic Ferrari while trying to parallel park blindfolded in another car.

In 2006, Hammond fronted the Richard Hammond's 5 O'Clock Show with his co-presenter Mel Giedroyc. The programme, which discussed a wide range of topics, was shown every weekday on ITV between 17:00 and 18:00.[citation needed]

In July 2005, Hammond was voted one of the top 10 British TV talents.[33]

He presented Richard Hammond and the Holy Grail in 2006. During the special, he travelled to various locations around the world, including the Vatican Secret Archives, exploring the history of the Holy Grail.[34]

As part of Red Nose Day 2007, Hammond stood for nomination via a public telephone vote, along with Andy Hamilton and Kelvin MacKenzie, to be a one-off co-presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour on 16 March 2007.[35] However, he was defeated by Andy Hamilton.

In April 2007, Hammond presented a one off special on BBC Radio 2 for Good Friday followed by another in August 2007 for the bank holiday.[36]

Hammond driving a diesel BMW 3 Series in the 2007 Britcar 24 Hours, as part of an episode of Top Gear
Hammond driving a diesel BMW 3 Series in the 2007 Britcar 24 Hours, as part of an episode of Top Gear

Hammond recorded an interview with the famed American stuntman Evel Knievel, which aired on 23 December 2007 on BBC Two, and was Knievel's last interview before his death on 30 November 2007.[37]

In September 2008, Hammond presented the first episode of a new series; Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections on the National Geographic Channel.[38] In this show, Hammond discovered how the inventions of the past, along with assistance from nature, help designers today. Episodes include the building of the Airbus A380, Taipei 101 and the Keck Observatory.[38] Series 2 of Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections began in May 2010 and has included the building of the Wembley Stadium and the Sydney Opera House.

Hammond appeared in an advertisement for Morrisons supermarkets in 2008,[39] and joined the cast of TV show Ashes To Ashes for a special insert on the 2008 Children in Need special.

While in New Zealand for Top Gear Live 2009, Hammond filmed several television commercials for Telecom New Zealand's new XT UTMS mobile network. Telecom claimed that the new network was "faster in more places", compared to its competitors and its existing CDMA network. After the network suffered three highly publicised outages in late 2009 and early 2010, Hammond became the butt of a joke when he did not return to New Zealand for Top Gear Live 2010. His fellow Top Gear co-hosts said he was too embarrassed to come back to New Zealand, and in a supposed live feed back to Hammond, the feed suddenly drops out as the "XT Network had crashed".[40] Hammond was later given the right of reply to his colleagues during an interview with Marcus Lush on RadioLIVE's breakfast show in New Zealand.[41]

Hammond hosted the UK version of the US series Wipeout, called Total Wipeout for BBC One. It took place in Argentina, and was co-presented by Hammond and Amanda Byram. Hammond presented and performed the voiceover for the clips in a London studio, and Byram was filmed at the obstacle course in Buenos Aires.[42] The series was cancelled at the end of 2012.[43]

Hammond also presented a science-themed game show for children, Richard Hammond's Blast Lab which aired on BBC Two and CBBC.[44]

In March 2010, Hammond presented a three episode series called Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds, which looked at things too fast for the naked eye to see, things that are beyond the visible spectrum (e.g., ultraviolet and infra-red light), as well as microscopic things.

One of Hammond's lesser known television roles was as presenter of the BBC Two gameshow Time Commanders, a sophisticated warfare simulator which used a modified version of Creative Assembly's Rome: Total War game engine.[45]

Since February 2011, Hammond has presented an online technology series Richard Hammond's Tech Head.[46] In July 2011, Hammond presented a two-part natural science documentary Richard Hammond's Journey to the Centre of the Planet, focused on Earth geology and plate tectonics.[47][48]

In April 2012, Hammond hosted a BBC America programme titled Richard Hammond's Crash Course,[49] which was also shown in the UK from September 2012[50] on BBC Two. In May 2012, Hammond co-presented an animal documentary for BBC One called Planet Earth Live alongside Julia Bradbury. The programme recorded animals living in extreme conditions.[51]

In June 2014, Hammond presented a scientific fourteen part series on National Geographic Channel titled Science of Stupid which focused on the application of physics in everyday life.[52] In December, Hammond presented a three-part science documentary for BBC One called Wild Weather with Richard Hammond which focuses on the hidden world of our Earth's extreme weather system.[53]

In September 2015, Hammond presented a two-part documentary for Sky 1 called Richard Hammond's Jungle Quest, supported by Sky Rainforest Rescue.[54]

In March 2017, whilst filming for The Grand Tour in Mozambique, Hammond fell off a motorbike. He reportedly hit his head and became unconscious; further details, however, will only be revealed in series two of the show.[55][56][further explanation needed]

During the season finale of The Grand Tour season three, Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson announced the current format was coming to the end and later announced that there would be two more seasons of specials, without the tent or live audience.[citation needed]

Hammond will star alongside Mythbusters' Tory Belleci in a new six-episode series for Amazon, announced in August 2019 and to be produced by Chimp Productions. The series will strand the pair on a deserted island where they will use the resource they can find to build the means to survive.[57]

Rimac Concept One crash

On 10 June 2017, Hammond crashed a Rimac Concept One while filming for The Grand Tour in Hemberg, Switzerland. Hammond was on his last run up a timed hill climb course during the Bergrennen Hemberg event, when, just after crossing the finish line, the car ran off the road. The car tumbled down the hill and eventually came to rest upside down 110 metres (360 ft) from the road.[58][59]

Hammond remained conscious throughout and later described the feeling of "oh god, I'm going to die", as well as being "aware of tumbling – sky, ground, sky, ground, sky, ground, sky, ground." After being airlifted to hospital, Hammond was diagnosed with a tibial plateau fracture in his left knee and a plate and ten screws were surgically inserted.[60]

Jeremy Clarkson Twitter

It was the biggest crash I've ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.

10 June 2017[61]

Jeremy Clarkson and James May, fellow presenters on The Grand Tour both witnessed the scene from afar, and, believing Hammond was dead, May recalled feeling a "blossoming, white-hot ball of pure, sickening horror forming in my heart"[62] with Clarkson describing his "knees turning to jelly" at the sight of the crash.[63]

After the ordeal, the FIA allegedly ruled that the "show runs" Hammond and company were doing at the time of the accident violated the governing body's International Sporting Code and that the crash "acted against the interests of the sport." As a result, the Bergrennen Hemberg organizers were fined $5,138, on top of six-month license suspensions for race director Christian Muller and stewards Hermann Muller, Karl Marty, and Daniel Lenglet. In August of that year, reported that the future of the entire event "is now in jeopardy."[64] Despite the reports, the Bergrennen Hemberg would be held again in 2018, and driver registrations opening for 2019.[65]

Personal life

Hammond has been married to Amanda "Mindy" Hammond (born Etheridge, born 6 July 1965),[66] a columnist for the Daily Express,[67] since May 2002. They have two daughters.[4]

It was his friend Zogg Zieglar who first gave Hammond his nickname Hamster. After the couple announced the happy news of the impending birth of their first child, Zieglar's response was "And out will pop another hamster." The nickname stuck, especially on Top Gear due to his name and relatively small stature compared to May and Clarkson.[68] His nickname was further reinforced when on three occasions in series 7, he ate cardboard,[69] mimicking hamster-like behaviour.

Hammond is known for owning a large number of animals on Bollitree farm including several horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, sheep, and a peacock.[citation needed] He and his family adopted TG, the official Top Gear dog, after it became apparent that the labradoodle was afraid of cars. The dog died aged 11 in January 2017.[70]

Hammond plays bass guitar, on which he accompanied the other Top Gear presenters when they performed alongside Justin Hawkins on Top Gear of the Pops for Comic Relief in 2007.[citation needed]

He likes to ride his bicycle, scooter, or motorbike in cities, for which he is mocked mercilessly by fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson.[71]

During the news segment of Top Gear's 2010 USA Road Trip special, Hammond openly expressed his dislike of the band Genesis. This fact was later exploited by his co-presenters (particularly by Clarkson) in three special episodes: during the Middle East Special, when they installed a secret second stereo unit in his Fiat Barchetta that only plays the band's Live over Europe 2007 album; in the India Special, Clarkson played the same song used in the previous special (albeit the Seconds Out version) through the megaphone mounted in his Jaguar XJS, despite Hammond driving a different car (a Mini Cooper Sport). In the 2013 Africa Special, Clarkson once again played Genesis in an attempt to get Hammond to let him pass.

In 2007, Hammond went to Africa on a Top Gear special across Botswana, with his choice of car being a 1963 Opel Kadett, which he subsequently named Oliver. A week after the special was aired, Hammond announced during the news section that he had shipped Oliver back to the UK, where it was restored by a team from Practical Classics magazine. Oliver features on Hammond's children's science television show Richard Hammond's Blast Lab and in another episode of Top Gear as a kind of "Hill-holder" in the trailer truck challenge (after it acquired the fake personal plate "OLI V3R"). Oliver is also mentioned in Hammond's second autobiography As You Do.[72]

In 2010, Hammond was the president of the 31st Herefordshire Country Fair held at Hampton Court in Hope under Dinmore. His involvement caused unprecedented attendance with "nearly 15,000 people" drawn to the event to meet the presenter.[73]

In March 2012, Hammond passed his B206 LST helicopter licence and has since owned a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter.[74]

In September 2018, his wife reported that she and Richard, along with their fifteen-year-old daughter, had been burgled while sleeping at a holiday villa in Saint-Tropez, speculating that they might have been rendered unconscious by noxious gas.[75]


Bollitree Castle in Weston under Penyard
Bollitree Castle in Weston under Penyard

The Hammond family lives in a mock castle in Herefordshire and also has an apartment in London.[71] In an interview with The Sunday Times in February 2008, it was reported that Hammond had moved briefly from Gloucestershire to Buckinghamshire, then back again, because he missed the country life.[76]

In October 2012, it was reported he had spent over £2 million buying Bollitree Castle which is situated near Weston under Penyard, Ross-on-Wye. It has been rumoured he has also bought a large house in the small town of Wantage, Oxfordshire.[77][78]

Vehicle ownership


Hammond at Bonhams Charity Auction in 2015
Hammond at Bonhams Charity Auction in 2015

Hammond currently[when?] owns or has owned many different cars including:

Cars no longer owned by Hammond:


Hammond is a keen motorcyclist, having ridden for over 30 years.[110] He currently owns or has owned many different motorcycles including:

  • 1925 Sunbeam Model A, with an asthmatic side-valve 350cc single-cylinder engine, a hand-shift three-speed gearbox, a manual oil pump, acetylene gas lights and no milometer[111]
  • 1927 Sunbeam Model 2[112]
  • 1935 Indian[113]
  • 1947 Harley Davidson[113]
  • 1951 BMW R51, with a 600cc conversion, a Hoske tank and cut down mudguards[111]
  • 1959 Norton Dominator[112]
  • 1961 Triumph Bonneville T120C[114]
  • 1962 Triumph Bonneville[115]
  • 1970s Moto Guzzi V7 Sport[116]
  • 1974 Kawasaki Z900[112]
  • 1976 BMW R90S, which is an "[i]rresistible low mileage example of BMWs first attempt at a sportsbike. The tank's been repainted, but the rest is original."[111]
  • 1976 Honda Gold Wing[112]
  • 1976 Kawasaki Z900, which was a 40th birthday present from his wife[111][117]
  • 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans (Mk1). "I've always wanted a Guzzi. They've got a tractor-like quality. This one is fitted with a period accessory fairing from Apple Motorcycles", Hammond said in an interview for Bike Magazine.[111][112]
  • 1976 Yamaha FS-1E[112]
  • 1981 BMW R100RT, which Hammond bought "when some friends, including James May, started a thing called the Crap Motorcycle Camping Club of GB. [...] It's called Eric, after the previous owner and it's done 105,000 miles".[112]
  • 1988 BMW R100GS[111]
  • 1990 BMW K1, with a unique BMW Motorsport inspired paintjob[111]
  • 1990 BMW K100RS, which has a batch painted by Dream Machine in BMW Motorsport colours to celebrate Nick Jeffries finishing 8th in the 1984 Production TT on one[111]
  • 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100. In an interview for Bike Magazine in 2014, Hammond stated: "When I was a kid I saw a GSX-R 1100 being filled up in a petrol station. I thought it was amazing. I know this isn't the collectable slab-sided one, but I don't care."[111][112]
  • 1992 Kawasaki KR1-S[111][112]
  • 1992 Kawasaki ZXR750. In a Bike Magazine interview, Richard stated: "I just love the hoses from the fairing ducts to the engine. I remember seeing these in Mick Staiano Motorcycles in Harrogate and dreaming of owning one."[111]
  • 1998 Ducati 916 SPS Fogarty Replica[111]
  • 2012 BMW R1200RT, which is according to Richard "[t]he best bike in the world." In 2014, he told Bike Magazine: "I love to hustle on the RT. It's done 8000 commuting miles and is used as a tool."[111]
  • 2014 Norton Commando 961 SE[112]
  • Bimota SB8R[118]
  • Bimota YB9[112]
  • Brough Superior SS80 period race replica[112]
  • Brough Superior SS100[112]
  • Ducati 900 Super Sport Desmo[119]
  • Honda SS50. In 2014, Richard told Bike Magazine that the Honda had been disassembled and was being restored by his daughter.[111]
  • Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000[120]
  • Suzuki GS1000[112]
  • Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport scooter[121]
  • Vincent Black Shadow[122]
  • Yamaha Virago[111]

Motorcycles no longer owned by Hammond:

Other vehicles

Furthermore, Hammond owns or has owned the following vehicles:

Charity work

Hammond has been an ambassador of UK charity for children with brain injury and neurodisability The Children's Trust for many years.[124]

On 29 September 2013, terminally-ill eight-year-old Emilia Palmer was driven by Hammond in a pink Lamborghini Aventador Roadster (newly repainted for the occasion). Hammond flew his Robinson R44 helicopter, G-OHAM, to Shobdon Aerodrome, then picked Palmer up from her home in Kimbolton, Herefordshire and drove her back to the airport for a high-speed run on the main runway. The event was arranged at short notice by Rays of Sunshine.[125][126][127]


Hammond's comments and actions have sometimes resulted in complaints from viewers, LGBT rights charities, and foreign diplomats.

During the second episode of series sixteen of Top Gear, Hammond suggested that no one would ever want to own a Mexican car, since cars are supposed to reflect national characteristics and so a Mexican car would be "lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence, asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat."[128] Hammond finished with the remark "I'm sorry, but can you imagine waking up and remembering you're Mexican?!"[129] The comments prompted Mexico's ambassador in London, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, to lodge an official complaint to the BBC. Demanding an apology from the BBC, the ambassador stated: "These offensive, xenophobic and humiliating remarks only serve to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people."[130] The BBC defended the broadcast of this segment on the grounds that such national stereotyping was a "robust part" of traditional British humour.[131]

Alleged homophobia

In December 2016, in reference to the interior styling of a Volvo S90 co-presenter Clarkson joked that "the only problem is that in one of those, you couldn't enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice cream" – to which Hammond responded: "It's all right, I don't eat ice cream. It's something to do with being straight."[132] The joke was written as a reference to a well-known advertisement in Finland (where that episode of The Grand Tour was filmed); however, LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell accused Hammond of "pandering to prejudice", adding that "it's a perverse world when everyday pleasures like ice cream becomes the butt of homophobic innuendo."[133] A spokesperson for UK LGBT rights charity Stonewall stated that "Hammond's choice of words were not just ridiculous, but chosen purposefully to mock and belittle."[134]

A year later, in an interview with The Times, Hammond stated: "Look, anyone who knows me knows I wasn’t being serious, that I’m not homophobic. Love is love, whatever the sex of the two people in love... It may be because I live in a hideously safe and contained middle-class world, where a person’s sexuality is not an issue".[135] In an interview with Newsweek Today, Hammond denied making homophobic comments, and refused to apologise for the remarks: "I entirely reject any criticism of me being anti-gay. That's just not the case."[136]



Year Title Role
1998–2002 Car File (Men & Motors TV series) Presenter
2002–2015 Top Gear
2003 Top Gear: Back in the Fast Lane
2003–2006 Brainiac: Science Abuse Presenter, co-producer
2003 Ready Steady Cook Contestant
2004–2005 Crufts Presenter
Should I Worry About...?
2005 The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend
Time Commanders
Inside Britain's Fattest Man
2006 Richard Hammond's 5 O'Clock Show
Petrolheads Contestant
School's Out
Richard Hammond: Would You Believe It? Presenter
Richard Hammond and the Holy Grail
Battle of the Geeks
2007 Last Man Standing Narrator
Helicopter Heroes
Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel Presenter
2008 BBC Timewatch Narrator
2008, 2010 Sport Relief Presenter
2008–2012 Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections
2009 Top Gear: Uncovered Presenter, co-producer
2009–2011 Richard Hammond's Blast Lab
Total Wipeout Presenter
2010 Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds
Hammond Meets Moss
Top Gear: Apocalypse
2011 Richard Hammond's Journey to the Centre of the Planet
Richard Hammond's Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean
Top Gear: At the Movies
Richard Hammond's Tech Head
2012 Richard Hammond's Crash Course
Planet Earth Live
Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature
Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars
2013 Richard Hammond's Secret Service
Hammond meets Moss
Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Guest
Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip Presenter, writer
How to Build a Planet Presenter
2014 Phineas and Ferb Richard (voice)
Richard Hammond's Wildest Weather Presenter
Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip 2
2014–2015 Science of Stupid
2015 Richard Hammond's Jungle Quest
Would I Lie to You? Himself (guest)
2016–present The Grand Tour Presenter
2020 Richard Hammond's Big Presenter

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Forza Motorsport 4 Presenter Voice
2013 Forza Motorsport 5
2019 The Grand Tour Game Himself

Television advertisements

Year Title Role
2008-09 Morrisons Himself
2017 LeasePlan

Awards and honours

Year Accolade Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2004 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
2005 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won [citation needed]
New TV Talent Won [citation needed]
International Emmy Awards Non-Scripted Entertainment (shared) Top Gear Won [138]
National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
2006 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won [citation needed]
National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
Heat Weird Crush Awards Heat's Weird Crush Won [139]
2007 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won [citation needed]
Royal Television Society Television Awards Best Presenter (shared with Jeremy Clarkson and James May) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
2008 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
Television and Radio Industries Club Awards TV Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
TV Quick Awards Best Lifestyle Show (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
2009 British Academy Children's Awards Best Presenter Richard Hammond's Blast Lab Won [citation needed]
Television and Radio Industries Club Awards TV Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
TV Quick Awards Best Lifestyle Show (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
TV Quick Awards Best Gameshow (shared) Total Wipeout Nominated [citation needed]
TV Choice Awards Best Lifestyle Show (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
2010 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
2011 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
Television and Radio Industries Club Awards TV Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
TV Choice Awards Best Factual Entertainment Show (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
2012 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
TV Quick Awards Best Factual Entertainment (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
TV Choice Awards Best Factual Entertainment Show (shared) Top Gear Won [citation needed]
Guinness World Records Certificate Most widely viewed factual TV programme (shared) Top Gear Won [140]
Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards Best Popular Science & Natural History Program (shared) Richard Hammond's Journey to the Centre of the Planet Won [citation needed]
2013 National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [citation needed]
National Television Awards Most Popular Documentary Series (shared) Planet Earth Live Nominated [141]
Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Awards Best Hosted & Presenter-led Program (shared) Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature: Super-bodies Won [142]
2014 Emmy Award Outstanding Science and Technology Programming (shared) Richard Hammond's How to Build a Planet Nominated [citation needed]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Reality Series (shared) Top Gear Nominated [143]
2015 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding General Entertainment Program (shared) Top Gear Won [144]
National Television Awards Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (shared) Top Gear Nominated [145]
TV Choice Awards Best Entertainment Show (shared) Top Gear Nominated [146]
2017 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards Original OTT Streamed (shared) The Grand Tour Nominated [147]
GQ Men of the Year Awards TV Personalities of the Year (shared) The Grand Tour Won [148]


Car and motorcycle books

  • What Not To Drive. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2005. ISBN 9780297848004.
  • Richard Hammond's Car Confidential. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2006. ISBN 9780297844457.
  • Richard Hammond's Caravan Confidential. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2010. ISBN 9780753826713.
  • A Short History of the Motorcycle. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2016. ISBN 9780297609902.

Children's books


24 Hours of Silverstone results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Car No. Class Laps Pos. Class
2007 United Kingdom Team Top Gear United Kingdom Jeremy Clarkson
United Kingdom Ben Collins
United Kingdom James May
BMW 330d 78 4 396 39th 3rd


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  6. ^ (subscription required)
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  17. ^ "0-288mph-0 in 20 seconds". BBC Magazines. 28 January 2007. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009. Watch the reconstruction step-by-step as we talk you through every stage of the events leading up to the 288mph crash, or play it through at full speed to appreciate the astonishing acceleration and G-force of the 10,000bhp rocket car. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "Speed king breaks 300mph barrier". BBC News Website. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 July 2000. Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2009. Engineer Colin Farrows has smashed the British land speed record with a 300mph run in his jet-propelled car.
  19. ^ Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962–63. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co.
  20. ^ a b c d "TV host seriously hurt in crash". BBC News Website. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 September 2006. Archived from the original on 18 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009. He said: "We were down there with Top Gear who were filming him trying to break the British land speed record.
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  22. ^ a b c "Top Gear's Hammond Has Brain Injury". Sky News Website. British Sky Broadcasting. 21 September 2006. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009. Dave Ogden, one of the first on the scene, said Hammond had been travelling at speeds close to 300mph.
  23. ^ a b "Top Gear star 'making progress'". BBC News website. British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009. Doctors at Leeds General Infirmary, where he has been since Wednesday, said his condition was now "stable".
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  28. ^ Atkins, Lucy (26 February 2008). "There was a lot more to fix than I thought". The Guardian.
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  30. ^ "Brainiac: Science Abuse on – Free Full Episodes & Clips, & Show Info". Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  31. ^ "Vic Reeves to host Sky's Brainiac". BBC News. 14 September 2006.
  32. ^ "Richard Hammond's Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend : Documentary". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  33. ^ "New Doctor Who tops talent list". BBC News. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
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  45. ^ CVG. "CVG interviews Rome: Total War developers". Retrieved 16 March 2011.
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  52. ^ "Science of Stupid". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  53. ^ "Wild Weather with Richard Hammond". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
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  56. ^ "I've checked and i'm not dead". 20 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
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  124. ^
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  137. ^ "How to Build a Planet".
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External links

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