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The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond speaks out on the future of ‘axed’ Top Gear as he reveals what makes his friendships with co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May so strong


Richard Hammond insists Top Gear or a similar show will return to screens after it was put on hiatus following Freddie Flintoff’s horror crash.

Production of the hit motoring show has been halted since former England cricket captain Freddie, 46, was taken to hospital in December 2022 after he was injured in an accident at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Following the crash, the BBC announced that it would pause production on the show, co-presented by Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and automotive journalist Chris Harris, as it was felt it would be ‘inappropriate’, adding there would be a health and safety review.

Television presenter Richard, 54, who recently completed filming of the penultimate series of Amazon’s The Grand Tour, insists there will still be a desire for a motoring show with fast cars and stunts in the future.

When asked if he thought Top Gear would be off screens for good, he told the Radio Times: ‘I very much doubt it. Top Gear was on hiatus when we took it on so it’ll come back one day, although in what shape I don’t know. 

Richard Hammond insists Top Gear or a similar show will return to screens after it was put on hiatus following Freddie Flintoff's horror crash (Richard pictured for The Grand Tour)

Richard Hammond insists Top Gear or a similar show will return to screens after it was put on hiatus following Freddie Flintoff’s horror crash (Richard pictured for The Grand Tour)

Production of Top Gear, formerly hosted by Richard, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, has been halted since former England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff crashed a car while filming (L-R: James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson pictured for The Grand Tour)

Production of Top Gear, formerly hosted by Richard, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, has been halted since former England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff crashed a car while filming (L-R: James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson pictured for The Grand Tour)

‘The decision to buy our next car is probably the most significant contribution we can make as individuals to the future, so we need to be informed. Maybe that’s the route it could take? 

‘As for shows like The Grand Tour, I don’t think the human desire for adventure is ever going to be sated. It’ll continue in different forms, modified to suit its time.’

Richard hosted Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson, 63, and James May, 61, from 2002 to 2015.

Since 2016, the trio have presented The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime but it was reported in November last year that filming on the show was set to end, with the penultimate series, Sand Job, available for streaming from Friday.

With Richard, Jeremy and James having worked together for nearly a quarter of a century, they have come to know each other pretty well.

Richard was just 30 years old when he started hosting Top Gear and they have been through a lot together both in their professional and private lives.

In 2006 while filming a stunt for Top Gear, Richard was driving a Vampire jet car at 320mph when one of the tyres blew, causing it to spin out of control and crash, flipping upside down and leaving him in a coma.

The presenter was in a coma for two weeks and the incident left him with serious head injuries.

Freddie Flintoff, pictured in September last year, was air lifted to hospital after he rolled a three-wheel Morgan Super 3 while on the Top Gear test track

Freddie Flintoff, pictured in September last year, was air lifted to hospital after he rolled a three-wheel Morgan Super 3 while on the Top Gear test track

Richard recovered and returned to the show in early 2007 but revealed in February last year that he fears he has memory loss as a result.

On his maintaining close friendships with Jeremy and James, Richard said: ‘We know each other very well, and it’s not founded on seeing one another in an office every day or in the pub at weekends. 

‘It’s seeing one another in incredible places, grappling with illness and injury.’

It comes after Richard revealed he, Jeremy and James could make a surprising career move after quitting Prime Video’s The Grand Tour

The trio joined the streaming service in 2015 to continue his motoring adventures following their time on Top Gear, but will now end the show after five series. 

Richard said that while nothing was set in stone they could possibly front a show similar to Amanda Holden and Alan Carr‘s property make-over series the Italian job.

Asked if could see the car enthusiasts renovating a property abroad, he joked to The Sun: ‘That’s genuinely not a bad idea, I might make a note of that and claim it as my own.’ 

Richard went on to say how they were too busy concentrating on The Grand Tour’s final series, which is expect to air later this year, to think about the future.

With Richard, Jeremy and James having worked together for nearly a quarter of a century on Top Gear and The Grand Tour, they have come to know each other pretty well (L-R: Richard, James, Jeremy)

With Richard, Jeremy and James having worked together for nearly a quarter of a century on Top Gear and The Grand Tour, they have come to know each other pretty well (L-R: Richard, James, Jeremy)

Richard nearly lost his life when he was involved in a 320mph crash while filming a Top Gear stunt at York's Elvington airfield back in 2006

Richard nearly lost his life when he was involved in a 320mph crash while filming a Top Gear stunt at York’s Elvington airfield back in 2006

The presenter was in a coma for two weeks and the incident left him with serious head injuries. Pictured is the mangled car

The presenter was in a coma for two weeks and the incident left him with serious head injuries. Pictured is the mangled car 

Saying: ‘It’s like making a film and the quality of production, you cannot do that without the many skilled people on board, and it’s the same ones who’ve been with us for 20 years’. 

‘So that’s why — and I’m not defecting here — any thinking about the end and what comes next is still a long way off as we’re still making the series. It’s a long job.’ 

It comes after Jeremy revealed the trio’s 20-year-long partnership would draw to a close after Jeremy revealed there was nothing else for them to do.

Telling The Times: ‘I’ve driven cars higher than anyone else and further north than anyone else. We’ve done everything you can do with a car. When we had meetings about what to do next, people just threw their arms in the air.’

He also branded himself ‘unfit, fat and old’ as another reason that it was time for the ‘immensely physical’ show to end, following the hosts camping on beaches and racing speed boats in pervious series. 

Jeremy brushed of any suggestions of a feud with his co-hosts saying: ‘We’ve spent more time in each other’s company than our families’ over the last 25 years.

‘So I don’t think it would have lasted as long as it did if we’d hated each other as much as James likes to think.’

Before revealing that their options were ‘being explored for a new incarnation’ of show, which could offer the trio a possibility to reunite on screen.

It comes after Richard revealed he, Jeremy and James could make a surprising career move after quitting Prime Video's The Grand Tour (L-R: James, Jeremy and Richard pictured in 2019)

It comes after Richard revealed he, Jeremy and James could make a surprising career move after quitting Prime Video’s The Grand Tour (L-R: James, Jeremy and Richard pictured in 2019)

Richard said that while nothing was set in stone they could possibly front a show similar to Amanda Holden and Alan Carr's (pictured) property make-over series the Italian job

Richard said that while nothing was set in stone they could possibly front a show similar to Amanda Holden and Alan Carr’s (pictured) property make-over series the Italian job 

An insider told The Sun last year that the ‘surprising’ decision ‘very much marks the end of an era for the three presenters’, who have worked together since 2003.

They added that although the show is one of the streaming platform’s most watched shows ‘the guys have made no bones about the fact they’re all advancing in years and they have lots of other projects to pursue’.

The source told the publication that the broadcasters ‘felt like the time was right and wanted to go out on a high when the show remained popular’.

Jeremy, Richard and James shot to superstardom after taking over BBC’s Top Gear, turning it from a niche car programme into one of the corporation’s hottest properties and selling spin-offs around the world.

Their time on the show wasn’t without controversy.

Richard was nearly killed when he was involved in a 320mph crash while filming a stunt for the show, with the impact leaving him in a coma for two weeks and ‘Hamster’ himself admitting he fears getting early onset dementia as a result.

They dramatically left Top Gear programme in 2015 after Clarkson was sacked by the channel following a bust-up with producers, before returning on The Grand Tour in 2016.

Richard spoke to the 13 February 2024  issue of the Radio Times

Richard spoke to the 13 February 2024  issue of the Radio Times

Late last year their former bosses at the BBC announced Top Gear, which turned the trio into superstars, was being axed in the aftermath of a horrific crash involving presenter Andrew Flintoff.

The show’s production has been halted since host Flintoff, 45, was taken to hospital in December 2022 after being badly hurt in an accident at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Following the crash, the BBC announced that it would pause production on the show, co-presented by Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and automotive journalist Chris Harris, as it was felt it would be ‘inappropriate’, adding there would be a health and safety review.

McGuinness later thanked fans ‘for the love’ in a ‘goodbye’ message.

And after the BBC’s announcement to ‘rest’ the show for the foreseeable future, Paddy posted a gallery of images on Instagram starting with a picture of the trio in white Top Gear outfits.

He wrote the caption: ‘We were always going to be b*****s but we were your b******s.

‘Thanks for all the love over the years folks, it was very much appreciated.’



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