Richard Hammond may be the presenter of The Grand Tour (and previously Top gear) that’s come closest to the pearly gates out of him, Jeremy Clarkson, and James May, with multiple dangerous crashes under his belt, but even when stepping away from cars he seems to get into trouble.
His new show sees him on a desert island alongside Mythbusters star Tory Belleci, where they are tasked with surviving on a desert island from only what they can scavenge from the wreckage they rode in on. But when the duo are out at sea on a steam-powered raft they’ve built, things take a surprising turn for the worse.
He spoke to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain:
“We did a scene where to try and get off the island we built a raft.
“We decided to power it with a steam engine which we took off the wreck of the boat that was shipwrecked.
“That was a good idea. We went out to sea with it, this is me and Tory Belleci from Mythbusters, he’s just brilliant.
“The only way to power it is with this steam engine burning wood but we ran out of wood so we had to burn the raft to power the raft.”
“That went wrong so we jumped off and as we were swimming, somebody on the boat they were filming from pointed and said ‘Oh no,’” Richard admitted.
Piers Morgan adds humorously, “I heard it was a shocking creature the size of a school bus, was your first thought, ‘Clarkson?’”
“No, the first thought was shark. Tory shot off out the water like a missile leaving a submarine,” Richard replied.
“I had time to look down and see this thing curve around and think, ‘That’s that.’
“And then somebody shouted, ‘Whale shark they don’t eat people’ and I thought but what if he hasn’t got the message?
“I’m only small I could be like a piece of krill, I could have gone.”
Piers then questions how his crashes and dangerous moments of his career have influenced his life now:
“We’re going through a really odd period in history right now with so much death and miserable and people having to recalibrate their lives.
“What did you learn from the times you’ve very nearly died? Did it recalibrate your values, your desires for the rest of your life?”
“You’re making is sound all big and philosophical I’m a television presenter, what do I know?” Richard responded.
“But yeah it did make me look at stuff slightly differently in much the same way that I think a lot of us have done in the last year.
“Some things that have been apparently not important until we lose them, simple things like making friends.”
“Do you remember last year there was a point when we were all phoning our friends and realising we don’t just pop round for a coffee and a chat often enough,” Richard asked.
“I don’t mean a big night out I just mean meet up with somebody and have a chat.
“We’ve all been through a similar shock over the last year, we’ve all realised there are certain simple things that we should not take for granted.”
Piers responded with a question: “When we get back to normality, what would you do less of because of what we’ve been through in the last year?
“And what will you do more of that you’d wished you’d done more of before?”
“Well it would have been, if you’d asked me last year, I would have said, ‘I’m not going to travel as much I’ve had enough of that I want to be at home more,’” Richard answered.
“I’ve been at home a long time now so I want to go back to the road. I’ve had 25 years of living out of a suitcase and I miss that.
“Probably I’d spend more time back at work but appreciating being at home more. We’re all going to do that, aren’t we?”
The Great Escapists will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video on January 29 2021.