Richard Hammond, popularly known as the Hamster, has been co-running one of the most famous automotive programs in the world for eleven years. During this time, he made friends, got married, had a daughter and … he had a very dangerous accident on the set, which could have ruined his further career. Below is a short interview with the legendary Top Gear presenter I made thanks to BBC Poland.
The history of the world’s most famous automotive program dates back to 1977. However, what Top Gear looks like now is largely due to the three charismatic leaders. The program first focused mainly on information. Over time, it turned into an effective show. The drivers put the cars through sophisticated tests. There is no shortage of budget “four wheels” and supercars for large millions. They also often express controversial opinions. It was Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond that attracted viewers for nearly 152 episodes and 9 special editions. Now it’s time to look back at the past with this new special episode.
“It’s really strange that I’m standing here talking about twenty seasons. My youngest daughter recently had her tenth birthday. It’s amazing to be able to look at her and say, “Willow, when I was talking to the guys in the office, you were just born. You weren’t really in the world when we started. ” All someone’s life. Initially, I thought we were going to make a few seasons. Neither of us thought it would take this long and turn into something this big. We just wanted to do our best and make a great automotive program. This was our goal. And we still only mean that. There is no science, no cynicism, or no calculation involved. It will not surprise you to hear that we just do this program the best we can, explains Richard Hammond.
Richard, James and Jeremy sat down in the studio and went through material from the past eleven years together. They had to choose 41 of the best moments that they remembered. – We sat down together, talked calmly, drew charts, plans, drew complicated strategies and argued a lot. Later, someone stole our prepared list and we had to guess. Amazingly, we didn’t argue at all, jokes Hammond. – We will definitely show great machines, and three idiots … But there will definitely be amazing cars, including our favorite ones – he interjects.
Richard Hammond crash on set in Vampire
A lot happened on the set. The presenters built their own cars, raced with military helicopters, traveled across Africa in cars for a thousand pounds or had to convert a normal car into … a running house. The program is always accompanied by a large dose of humor. On September 20, 2006, all this changed and the show was temporarily suspended. Richard Hammond on the airport runway tried to break the speed record in a car called “Vampire”. The machine is powered by a jet engine with a power of nearly 10,000. horsepower accelerated to 463 km / h when the front tire suddenly burst. The car left the ground, went off the track and tumbled many times. Unconscious Hammond was hospitalized. The Internet was flooded with information about a tragic accident on the set in which a favorite presenter was supposed to have died. Doctors said Hammond had a brain injury, a damaged eye, and complained of back pain. According to the accident report, Richard survived by staying cool. At the time of the accident, he managed to turn off the engine, activate the emergency parachute, which slowed down the car and tried to keep the vehicle on the track as long as he could.
After a long rehabilitation, the presenter did not return to the studio until the following year. At that time, the recording of the accident was also shown. His friends, who visited him in the hospital every day, promised never to come back and not to joke about the event. – We are glad that our beloved Hamster is alive. It looked terrible – said Jeremy Clarkson. Despite many years after the accident, Richard still complains of temporary memory loss, depression and emotional problems. He also visits a psychologist.
For over 150 episodes, the presenters destroyed many cars, and also built a dozen new vehicles. In the program we saw, among others the FSO Polonez test, which Clarkson completely destroyed. And what do the hosts of Top Gear dislike most? – For years we have had fun on trailers. We considered it a kind of social service. The idea is to get rid of these time-wasting blockers. Mainly because they look very funny when they explode. So from this list to choose from … Nissan Sunny … well, live and let live. It is used for mobility, it has a nice velor. It’s a hard-working donkey. Genesis on the other hand … It’s about those keyboard solos of twenty minutes, it’s really unnecessary. Everything makes it even worse Jeremy with his stupid and fat mouth – pretending that he enjoys everything – lists Richard Hammond.
And where will Top Gear go next time and with what? It is not known yet – If I had a free choice, I would take it on the road … well, apart from the program, I also drive motorbikes and cars and I like antiques. Equipment where you need to accelerate and retard the ignition, operate various levers, adjust the mixture composition, change gears with the other hand and hold the steering wheel in your teeth. I’d take an old Bentley Blower. It is deadly! Extremely valuable, but great fun. I would take my wife for the second driver. Definitely. We always laugh a lot and she’s a lot tougher than me and if anything happened to us, she would have survived to tell everyone what went wrong, says Richard Hammond.
Five local versions of “Top Gear” have already been released under the BBC license: in Australia, Russia, China, South Korea and the USA.
image credit: BBC