Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has spoken on television about his latest recent car crash while filming for Amazon Prime.
Top Gear: Richard with Jeremy Clarkson and James May
They say a cat has nine lives, but TV petrolhead Richard Hammond can’t be far behind that, after surviving his second near-fatal car crash during filming in Switzerland. Now in recovery, he’s being looked after by his wife, Mindy. The couple spoke exclusively to ITV when they appeared earlier today on This Morning.
Describing the accident, Richard said: “I went off, at some speed, it was the end of a hill climb, which means when you get to the end of the hill you are high up, so if you go off there, there’s coming down to be done, very quickly. So I went over the edge and it touched down a few times, and then landed on its roof.”
Asked by Holly if he knew it was going to be bad and that he may not get out of this alive, Richard said: “I guess…those moments are not uncommon to people, they can come in whatever circumstance, and yeah I did think, ‘Oh, that’s gone badly wrong.’”
He added: “I’ve probably spent more time upside down in cars than most people, so that genuinely probably is useful when you’re in that situation.”
Wife Mindy said that she did have a strange feeling that day: “I actually called Richard the day before, and just said ‘Is it going okay?’ which I don’t usually do. And then the day of the accident I called him and said ‘Have you finished yet?’ and he said ‘I’ve just got to do a couple more goes,’ and then there was a phone call, and it was, ‘I’ve had a bit of a shunt.’”
A promotional stunt for Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour starring Hammond, May and Clarkson
Mindy was out shopping at the time, and she added: “I did sort of go a bit funny, which I’ve never done before. I said to Izzy, my 16-year-old, ‘We were coming to buy you shoes, we’re going to go and buy your shoes,’ and she was thinking, ‘She’s gone nuts,’ but you just keep doing something.”
Richard interrupted: “She actually carried on shopping, let’s be quite clear that’s what they did!”
Asked if she worries about his job, Mindy said: “I can’t think about it, I just think, ‘Oh he’s gone to work,’ that’s it…I did say, three strikes and you’re out, you’ve had two goes.”
Richard added: “We do look at the risks, and it’s not something that’s worth getting injured in the pursuit of, really, and generally we get it right, but occasionally we get it wrong.”
Talking about how he is now, Richard said: “What happened was, I think when the car touched down, sort of nose first, it drove that leg there (his left) into the knee joint and it smashed the bottom bit of the knee, but as a result of that they told me I’d lost 7mm of height in the knee…I can’t be sparing that…In a few months it’ll fix. There’s no walking on that for a few months, and I’ve been told I can’t go running for about a year or 18-months, which is bad.”
On when he can get back behind the wheel, Richard said: “I’ll be driving in…it’ll be weeks not months, maybe a couple of months, max.”
He also revealed what his two daughters have started calling him: “They call me Poppa Crutch now.”
Mindy also had these words to say to husband Richard: “Don’t do it again.”
Richard switched from Top Gear, which he can still be seen on thanks to the regular repeats on UKTV’s Dave channel, to Amazon Prime, where he, along with former Top Gear pals James May and Jeremy Clarkson, host a similar show, the Grand Tour.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10.30am on ITV, STV and UTV