From the turn of the millennium to the mid-2010s, Richard Hammond was unarguably one of most known English voices and faces as he appeared in multiple television and radio shows across the country and elsewhere. However, what he might most be known for is for his work as a Top Gear co-host, alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
Since 2015, when Hammond and his co-presenters unceremoniously left the BBC’s car programming show, he has moved on to other things as we take a look at his early beginnings and career achievements.
On the 19th of December, 1969, in Solihull, Warwickshire, England, Richard Mark Hammond was born to Eileen and Alan Hammond. Between the ages of 3 and 7, he attended Blossomfield Infant School before joining Solihull School. Hammond ended up at Ripon Grammar School before enrolling at Harrogate College of Art and Technology where he graduated from in 1988.
Richard Hammond went straight into a career in media, taking a job at a local radio station before moving up to join a number of BBC radio stations where he honed his presenting skills. In 2002, Hammond caught his big break by successfully auditioning for what turned out to be his career-defining role as a presenter for the BBC car television show, Top Gear.
Just two years after taking the job, Richard Hammond and his co-presenters were nominated for a National Television Award in the category of Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme. In 2005, as Top Gear was beginning to get a huge fan base, Hammond and Co. won an International Emmy Award and bagged several other nominations.
In the coming years, while still maintaining his co-presenter status at Top Gear, Hammond began publishing a number of car and motorcycle books, children’s books, and biographies. He also appeared on other television shows such as Brainiac: Science Abuse (2003 – 2006), Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections (2008-2012), Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab (2009-2011), Total Wipeout (2009-2011), among numerous others.
In September 2006, Hammond was in an almost fatal accident while filming a segment for Top Gear. The presenter was traveling at 463 km/h (288 mph) in a dragster called Vampire at the former Royal Air Force Elvington airbase when his tire burst, sending the car into a spin before it tumbled. The car, which came to a halt off the track, was found inverted and partially embedded in the grass, with Hammond’s helmet also embedded into the ground. He was unconscious when rescued, however, after he was gotten out of the car, he regained consciousness and was flown straight to hospital where he was treated for brain injuries and lower back pain.
According to a report by a health and safety executive, Hammond’s reaction to the incident was what saved his life as he was able to brake, steer into the skid and more importantly, pull the parachute release lever which shut down the jet engine and close the jet and afterburner fuel levers.
Richard Hammond was able to fully recover and return back to work, taking on his many presenting roles in and out of the United Kingdom. In recent time, he has appeared in Science of Stupid (2014-2015) and The Grand Tour (2016) alongside his former Top Gear presenters.
Richard Hammond’s Net Worth
Richard Hammond reportedly has a net worth of around $27 million. With such a healthy account balance, Hammond has been able to afford himself a very wealthy lifestyle as he lives in a 2.5 million pounds Herefordshire castle and owns a helicopter which he uses to commute to London for work. In addition to his country castle, he also owns an apartment in London and a villa in Saint-Tropez, South of France.
Being a petrol head, it is no surprise that Hammond has owned some of the world’s most expensive and exclusive cars, including a 1931 Lagonda 2-litre Superchards, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390, a Porshe 911 GT3 RS, among many others.
Family – Wife
Richard Hammond is married to Amanda Hammond (nee Etheridge). The pair got married in May 2002, right around the time Hammond joined Top Gear. Just like her husband, Amanda works in media. She is a columnist for the UK tabloid newspaper The Daily Express. Together, the couple has two daughters; Isabella and Willow.
Height, Weight, and Other Facts
Richard Hammond has found himself to be the butt of many jokes due to his height of 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) which have earned him the nickname “Hamster”. He further weighs 66 kg (146 lb).
In addition to his job as a presenter, and works as a writer, Hammond is a voice-over artist. He has voiced characters in the video games Forza Motorsport 5 (2013) and Forza Motorsport 6 (2015).