Full name: Richard Mark Hammond
Date of birth: 19 December 1969
Place of birth: Shirley, Solihull, England
Spouse: Amanda Hammond
Children: Isabella, Willow
Richard Hammond is the presenter of The Grand Tour alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May. Before this he presenter Top Gear from 2002 to 2015 before following his fellow presenters to Amazon Prime Video.
He’s also starred in The Great Escapists, and is currently working on a new show that will follow Richard as he sets out to build his business, The Smallest Cog. It has a working title of Richard Hammond’s Workshop.
Richard was born to Eileen and Alan Hammond in 1969. It was at this time they lived in Solihull, which is very close to Birmingham and close to Richard’s grandparents who worked in the Birmingham automotive industry. Here, he attended Blossomfield Infant School in Shirley and Solihull School.
In the mid-80s, he and his family moved to Ripon where he attended Ripon Grammar School. He got ‘booted out’ of the Grammar school so started to attend Harrogate College of Art and Technology instead where he stayed there for two years.
For the next ten years, he supported himself by presenting radio shows, but everything changed once he’d interviewed a motoring correspondent on Radio Lancashire. He knew at this point he wanted to mix these two parts of his life: motoring, and broadcast. He soon gave up his job and got himself a job in TV doing what he could.
On hearing about auditions that were taking place for a reboot of the popular motoring show, Top Gear, he managed to get one. But months went by and he hadn’t heard a thing until one morning when he got a call to tell him he’d got the position as a Top Gear presenter. He was in tears and had to ring back asking “did you mean me? Richard Hammond, the short bloke?”
The show started in 2002 with Jeremy Clarkson and Jason Dawe alongside Hammond and it soon became a hit culminating in millions of views each episode.
Andy Wilman, Top Gear’s producer, let it slip that Hammond’s contract for Series 2 was nearly not renewed after the leaving of Jason Dawe, but thankfully, Hammond stayed on and swiftly became a necessary cog of the Top Gear machine.
Vampire Dragster Crash
On 20 September 2006, Hammond was seriously hurt while piloting a jet-powered drag car at the RAF Elvington airfield near York. After several successful runs, he wanted to go faster so prepared for the final run of the day. During the acceleration, a front tyre exploded and the dragster veered off of the track and onto the grass where it flipped multiple times.
The dragster, which can theoretically reach speeds of up to 370mph, dug into the ground and catapulted Hammond around the cockpit. It was reported that he was drifting in and out of consciousness and suffered a “significant brain injury”. He was put into a coma for two weeks while he healed.
Rimac Concept_One Crash
During the Season 2 filming of The Grand Tour (2017), news erupted that Hammond had crashed again. This time it was on a Swiss Hill Climb track where he’d lost control of the electric Rimac Concept_One and driven over the side. He suffered a fractured left knee and was quickly sent to the local Swiss hospital by air ambulance. The car burst into flames shortly after the crash and continued to do so days after the incident. Thankfully, he didn’t suffer any other major injuries.
Mozambique Motorcycle Crash
Again, during recording for Season 2 of The Grand Tour, Hammond fell off his motorcycle countless times and reportedly lost consciousness after hitting his head. Clarkson admitted that “he really did hurt himself quite badly.”
In 2010 Hammond gained a private pilot license in a Robinson R44 helicopter and in March 2012, passed his B206 LST helicopter license. After his Rimac accident he was told he couldn’t fly until he healed, but as of February 2018, has taken up flying again.