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