Richard Hammond in 2006
|Born||Richard Mark Hammond
19 December 1969
Solihull, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
|Residence||Weston under Penyard, Herefordshire, England
|Alma mater||Harrogate College of Art and Technology|
|Occupation||Television presenter, journalist, author, voice actor|
|Years active||1998, 2002–present|
|Employer||The Daily Mirror, Amazon
(prev. BBC, ITV & Sky)
|Home town||Solihull, West Midlands,
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Amanda Etheridge (m. 2002)|
|Parent(s)||Eileen and Alan Hammond|
Richard Mark Hammond (born 19 December 1969) is an English presenter, writer, and journalist. He co-hosted the car programme Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, from 2002 to 2015 and presented series 1–4 of Brainiac: Science Abuse on Sky1. He also co-hosted Total Wipeout with Amanda Byram on BBC One. Hammond presented Planet Earth Live alongside Julia Bradbury. He will be presenting a new motoring show alongside his former Top Gear co-hosts Jeremy and James exclusive to Amazon Prime in late 2016.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Charity work
- 5 Vampire dragster crash
- 6 Works
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Hammond was born in Solihull, West Midlands, and is the grandson of workers in the Birmingham car industry. In the mid-1980s Hammond moved with his family (mother Eileen, father Alan, and younger brothers Andrew, writer of the 'Crypt' Series, and Nicholas) to the North Yorkshire cathedral city of Ripon where his father ran a probate business in the market square. He attended Blossomfield Infant School in Shirley 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, Radio Newcastle and Radio Lancashire, before auditioning for Top Gear.
Hammond became a presenter on Top Gear in 2002, when the show began in its present format. He is sometimes referred to as "The Hamster" by fans and his co-presenters on Top Gear due to his name and comparatively small stature. His nickname was further reinforced when on three separate occasions in series 7, he ate cardboard, 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".
During the third episode of series sixteen, 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." Hammond finished with the remark "I'm sorry, but can you imagine waking up and remembering you're Mexican?!" Following complaints, the BBC defended the broadcast of this segment on the grounds that such national stereotyping was a "robust part" of traditional British humour.
Following the BBC's decision not to renew Clarkson's contract with the show on 25 March 2015, Hammond's contract expired on 31 March. 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". 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 13 July at 9 p.m.
Brainiac: Science Abuse
In 2003, Hammond became the first presenter of Brainiac: Science Abuse; he was joined by Jon Tickle with Charlotte Hudson in series 2. 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.
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. 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 One. 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 smashing his classic Ferrari while trying to parallel park blindfolded in another car.
From 3 January 2006 until 10 February 2006, Hammond was the eponymous star of Richard Hammond's 5 O'Clock Show with his co-star Mel Giedroyc of Light Lunch fame. The programme, which discussed a wide range of topics, was shown every weekday on ITV between 17:00 and 18:00.
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.
In one episode of Top Gear, fellow presenter James May was mocked by both Hammond and Clarkson for being named the celebrity with the worst hairstyle, while Hammond was named the celebrity with the best.
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. However, he was defeated by Andy Hamilton.
In September 2008, Hammond presented the first episode of a new series; Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections on the National Geographic Channel. 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. 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.
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". 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.
Hammond used to host 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. The series was cancelled at the end of 2012, following the BBC's decision to cancel the show.
In March 2010, Hammond presented a 3 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 BBC2 gameshow Time Commanders, a sophisticated warfare simulator which used a modified version of Creative Assembly's Rome: Total War game engine.
Since February 2011, Hammond has presented an online technology series "Richard Hammond's Tech Head".
In May 2012, Hammond presented a live animal documentary for BBC One called "Planet Earth Live" which recorded animals living in extreme conditions.
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.
In December 2014, 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.
On the 16th September 2015 Richard has Presented his 1st Half called Richard Hammond's Jungle Quest which is on Sky1 at 9:00PM.
On the 23rd September 2015 Richard has Presented his 2nd half called Richard Hammond's Jungle Quest which is on Sky1 at 9:00PM.
Hammond has been married to Amanda "Mindy" Etheridge since May 2002; they have two daughters. The family lives in a mock castle in Herefordshire and also have an apartment in London. Hammond also plays the 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. Hammond likes to ride his bicycle in cities, for which he is mocked mercilessly by fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Hammond is a fan of Porsche cars, in particular the Porsche 911, of which he has owned several models, and claims the Pagani Zonda to be the ultimate supercar. He once owned a 1982 Porsche 911 SC (sold in the mid-2000s), and later purchased a 2006 Porsche 911 (997) Carrera S. In 2004, Hammond purchased a Porsche 928 for the purpose of daily driving. Much unlike Clarkson and May, he also has an interest in American muscle cars, having owned a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, a 1967 Ford Mustang GT 390, and a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 (which was purchased in the United States on a Series 12 episode of Top Gear). He also owns a BMW 850Ci, which was used to race against Clarkson's Mercedes CL600, which they both bought on the show to prove that one could purchase second-hand V12 cars which were a better buy than the Nissan Pixo (Britain's cheapest new car at the time) for less money.
Hammond had also owned a Morgan Aeromax, in which he was involved in a car accident on 9 August 2009. He also owns a Jaguar E-Type and is also a fan of monster trucks, having attended Truckfest '07.
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 concert; in the India Special, Clarkson played the same song used in the previous special 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 October 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.
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.
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.
And during series 21 of Top Gear it was revealed that he recently bought a Porsche 911 GT3. This Car was subsequently recalled because other cars of this model were reported to catch fire. This was a running gag during that series.
In March 2012, Hammond passed his B206 LST helicopter licence 
On 29 September 2013, terminally-ill eight-year-old Emilia Palmer was driven by Richard Hammond in a pink Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. 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 with car "LJ13 AUX" loaned by H.R. Owen and spray painted by company Yiannamize. Palmer died two weeks later on 18 October 2013 at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
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.:1 He was travelling at 288 mph (463 km/h) at the time of the crash.
His vehicle, a dragster called Vampire, was theoretically capable of travelling at speeds of up to 370 mph (595 km/h). 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).:3 The Vampire was powered by a single Bristol-Siddeley Orpheus afterburning turbojet engine producing 10000 hp (7.5 MW).
Some accounts suggested that the accident occurred during an attempt to break the British land speed record, 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.: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.":1
Hammond was completing a seventh and final run to collect extra footage for the programme when his front-right tyre failed,:8 and, according to witness and first responder 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." The emergency crew quickly arrived at the car, finding it inverted and partially embedded in the grass. 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. Hammond was cut free with hydraulic shears, and placed on a backboard.:9 "He was regaining consciousness at that point and said he had some lower back pain". He was then transported by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the neurological unit of the Leeds General Infirmary.:9 Hammond's family visited him at the hospital along with Top Gear co-presenters James May and Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson wished Hammond well, saying "Both James and I are looking forward to getting our 'Hamster' back", referring to Hammond by his nickname.
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.":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".:13
The crash was shown on an episode of Top Gear on 28 January 2007; 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. 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. Hammond also appeared on the BBC chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross revealing he was "a bit fighty" right after the crash and then in a coma for two weeks.
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. He reported suffering loss of memory, depression and difficulties with emotional experiences, for which he was consulting a psychiatrist. 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.
|1998-2002||Motor Week (Men & Motors TV series)||Presenter|
|1998-2002||Car File (Men & Motors TV series)||Presenter|
|2003–06||Brainiac: Science Abuse||Presenter|
|Should I Worry About...?||Presenter|
|2005||The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend||Presenter|
|Inside Britain's Fattest Man||Presenter|
|2006||Richard Hammond's 5 O'Clock Show||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond: Would You Believe It?||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond: The Holy Grail||Presenter|
|Battle of the Geeks||Presenter|
|2007||Last Man Standing||Narrator|
|Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel||Presenter|
|2009–2011||Richard Hammond's Blast Lab||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections||Presenter|
|2010||Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds||Presenter|
|Sport Relief 2010||Presenter|
|Hammond Meets Moss||Presenter|
|2011||Richard Hammond's Journey to the Centre of the Planet||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond's Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean||Presenter|
|2012||Richard Hammond's Crash Course||Presenter|
|Planet Earth Live||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature||Presenter|
|Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars||Presenter|
|2013||Richard Hammond's Secret Service||Presenter|
|Hammond meets Moss||Presenter|
|Richard Hammond Builds a Planet||Presenter|
|That Puppet Game Show||Contestant|
|2014||Phineas and Ferb||Nigel (voice only)|
|Wild Weather with Richard Hammond||Presenter|
|2014–2015||Science of Stupid||Presenter|
|2015||Hammond and Humphries||Presenter|
|2015||Richard Hammond's Jungle Quest Part 1 & 2||Presenter|
|2016-unknown||An Amazon Prime original series (title TBC)||Presenter|
- Hammond, Richard (13 October 2005). What Not To Drive. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 276 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-84800-4.
- Hammond, Richard (5 October 2006). Richard Hammond's Car Confidential. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 144 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-84445-7.
- Hammond, Richard (28 May 2009). A Short History of Caravans in the UK. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 144 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-84446-4.
- Hammond, Richard (20 May 2010). Richard Hammond's Caravan Confidential. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 144 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-2671-3.
- Hammond, Richard (29 June 2006). Can You Feel the Force?: Putting the Fizz Back into Physics. Dorling Kindersley Publishers. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 978-1-4053-1543-2.
- Hammond, Richard (2 June 2008). Car Science (Hardback). Dorling Kindersley Publishers. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 978-1-4053-3200-2.
- Hammond, Richard (1 September 2008). Car Science (Paperback). Dorling Kindersley Publishers. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 978-0-7566-4026-2.
- Hammond, Richard (2009). Blast Lab: More than 30 Mind-Blasting Experiments!. Dorling Kindersley Publishers. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 978-0-7566-5648-5.
- Hammond, Richard (20 September 2007). On The Edge: My Story (Hardback). Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 308 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-85327-5.
- Hammond, Richard (29 May 2008). On The Edge: My Story (Paperback). Phoenix. pp. 308 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-2404-7.
- Hammond, Richard (7 August 2008). On The Edge: My Story (Abridged). Phoenix. pp. 256 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-2330-9.
- Hammond, Richard (18 September 2008). As You Do: Adventures with Evel, Oliver and the Vice-President of Botswana (Hardback). Orion Publishing Co. pp. 268 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-85520-0.
- Hammond, Richard (28 May 2009). As You Do: Adventures with Evel, Oliver and the Vice-President of Botswana (Paperback). Orion Publishing Co. pp. 314 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-2562-4.
- Hammond, Richard (1 October 2009). Or Is That Just Me? (Hardback). Phoenix. pp. 256 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-85521-7.
- Hammond, Richard (20 May 2010). Or Is That Just Me? (Paperback). Phoenix. pp. 352 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-2562-4.
|Forza Motorsport 5||Turn 10 Studios||2014||Voice over|
|Forza Motorsport 6||Turn 10 Studios||2015||Voice over|
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- Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections: Series Three (2011, Nat Geo DVD).
- Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars (2012, 2|Entertain).
- Total Wipeout Series 5 Celebrity Specials and Final. (2012, endemol)
- Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip (With Jeremy Clarkson) (2013, BBC DVD)
- Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip 2 (With Jeremy Clarkson) (2014, BBC DVD)
- Morrisons (2008)
- Morrisons (Christmas 2008)
- Morrisons (2009)
- Morrisons (Christmas 2009)
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- Top Gear Turbo Challenge Trading Cards (2010)
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- Top Gear Interactive Stunt Challenge DVD (2009)
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- Rapid White Instant Whitening System (2009)
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Richard Hammond said: "Why would you want a Mexican car, because cars reflect national characteristics... Mexican cars are just going to 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."
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The Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond was one of the main reasons for a record attendance at the 31st Herefordshire Country Fair.
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- Neil, Laura (25 October 2013). "Top Gear girl Emilia loses her fight for life". Daily Star. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
Emilia died last Friday in Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
- "TV presenter 'stable' after crash". BBC News website (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 September 2006. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
The 36-year-old was thought to be driving at about 300mph on an airfield near York when he crashed on Wednesday.
- "Hammond talks to Top Gear co-star". BBC News website (British Broadcasting Corporation). 22 September 2006. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
Mr Hammond suffered a "significant brain injury" when he crashed a jet-powered car at a speed of up to 300mph during filming near York.
- "Investigation into the accident of Richard Hammond" (PDF). Health and Safety Executive. 2007-06-22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
The BBC Top Gear programme production team had arranged for Richard Hammond (RH) to drive Primetime Land Speed Engineering’s Vampire jet car at Elvington Airfield, near York, on Wednesday 20 September 2006.
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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.
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Engineer Colin Farrows has smashed the British land speed record with a 300mph run in his jet-propelled car.
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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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- "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.
- "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".
- Richard Hammond first TV interview after crash
- Smith, Emma (2008-02-24). "On the Move: Richard Hammond". The Sunday Times.
He had reached 314mph – an unofficial British land-speed record – before the accident, which was caused by a tyre bursting and sending the car spinning out of control, turning it upside down and leaving Hammond’s head effectively to act as a brake as his helmet dug into the ground.
- Atkins, Lucy (26 February 2008). "'There was a lot more to fix than I thought'". The Guardian.
- "BBC Four – Hammond Meets Moss". Bbc.co.uk. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Richard Hammond|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richard Hammond.|
- Official website
- Richard Hammond at the Internet Movie Database
- Donations to Yorkshire Air Ambulance double as a result of their life-saving rescue of Richard Hammond
- Richard Hammond on Top Gear
- Q&A – The Guardian – 2009-1-3. Hammond questions about himself. Retrieved 2009-6-29.