Top Gear

Sea­son 20 BBC Brit (*120) 22:00 Life­style

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Richard Ham­mond was one third of TV’s best-loved car team at Top Gear (2002-cur­rent). While he and James May quit in 2015 when co-host Jeremy Clark­son was fired, Richard wrote his name in the show’s his­tory in 2006 by al­most killing him­self – he rolled the Vam­pire tur­bo­jet drag­ster at over 400km/h! But he’s more than just a speed­f­reak…

The 47-year-old started his ca­reer 1

as a jour­nal­ist and talk ra­dio DJ. He jokes that he only stud­ied writ­ing to be bet­ter than his brother An­drew, au­thor of the Crypt para­nor­mal youth nov­els.

He was the first per­son hired by 2

Jeremy for the Top Gear re­boot in 2002 – they were al­ready friends: Jeremy was a car jour­nal­ist and Richard had been work­ing on the Mo­tor Week and Car File TV shows from 1998 to 2002.

De­spite his co-hosts mak­ing light 3

of his crash (at Richard’s re­quest), it was very se­ri­ous. He was left with brain trauma and in a 2008 in­ter­view, Richard re­vealed that he had me­mory loss, de­pres­sion and was see­ing a ther­a­pist.

Richard doesn’t just like cars 4

though – he’s rid­den mo­tor­bikes since his 20s, has a he­li­copter’s pilot li­cence and rides bi­cy­cles, which his co­hosts still tease him about on their new show The Grand Tour (2016-cur­rent).

Be­sides fame, Top Gear has also 5

given Richard a for­tune – he lives in a £2 mil­lion (R32 mil­lion) cas­tle with his wife Mindy (46) and daugh­ters Izzy (16) and Wil­low (14).

And he isn’t only a car show host – 6

Richard has writ­ten over 15 books (eight bi­ogra­phies and four chil­dren’s books), plus he’s had loads of other shows, in­clud­ing science and en­gi­neer­ing se­ries Blast Lab (2009-2011), Richard Ham­mond Builds A Planet (2013) and Science Of Stupid (2014-2015).

Richard and the Vam­pire tur­bo­jet that al­most killed him.

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