Richard Hammond is among the most popular English television presenters known for hosting the world-famous BBC motoring show Top Gear from 2002 to 2015. He quickly became a household name with his cheeky charm, passion for fast cars, and exhilarating stunts. However, his life has been punctuated by a major accident that nearly killed him. This biography covers Hammond’s early life, career, personal life, the near-fatal crash, and his current net worth.
Born in Solihull, West Midlands, in 1969, Richard Mark Hammond developed an interest in cars and mechanics from an early age. He often took part and reassembled various engines on his house driveway. Hammond studied at Solihull School, obtaining A-levels in Media, Public Service, and English Literature before attending Harrogate College of Art and Technology.
In 1991, Hammond moved to Ripon, North Yorkshire, to work as a radio broadcaster at several local stations. He progressed to BBC Radio Cleveland, hosting various shows for over 8 years. This proved to be great training for the TV career that lay ahead.
His big television break came in 2002 when he landed a hosting role on Top Gear – one of the most-watched factual programs globally. Hammond quickly built a reputation for interacting with vehicles in daring, speed-filled stunts. Combined with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, the trio achieved enormous popularity and helped the show draw over 350 million worldwide audiences.
After Top Gear ended, Hammond fronted science-based shows like Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab and Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds. He also participated in big-budget specials like Top Gear of the Pops and Top Ground Gear Force.
Away from filming stunts and challenges, Hammond enjoys a happy personal life. He married his wife Amanda “Mindy” Hammond in 2002 and they have two daughters named Isabella and Willow. The family lives on a picturesque farm called ‘Bollitree Farm’ in Herefordshire county, near the Wales border. Mindy helps run their Classic Car restoration business, ‘The Smallest Cog’.
When not working, Hammond enjoys tennis, motorcycling, and spending time with his family. He also owns a variety of pets, from dogs, horses, and chickens to peacocks that roam his farm estate.
|December 19, 1969
|Richard Mark Hammond
|Actor, Producer, Writer
|5′ 5½″ (1.66 m)
|Solihull, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Richard Hammond Accident that Nearly Killed Him
In September 2006, Hammond was filming a segment for Top Gear at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York. He was traveling at 288 mph in a rocket-powered Vampire race car when a front tire blew out, causing the vehicle to spin out of control. Hammond was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary to receive emergency treatment for serious head injuries.
The crash left Hammond in a coma for two weeks. He also suffered frontal lobe damage, cognitive difficulties, and post-traumatic amnesia that lasted for five months. Doctors said he experienced the worst head trauma they’d seen while surviving. Through strong determination and intensive rehabilitation, Hammond defied expectations to make a full recovery over the next five years. He retains some minor issues with coordination and memory as a result.
The crash could easily have killed Hammond. However, he retained his passion for adrenaline-filled stunts and speed. In 2017, he miraculously escaped a fiery crash in Switzerland while filming The Grand Tour – a new Amazon Prime series with his former Top Gear colleagues. Driving talent and guardian angels have kept Hammond cheating death time after time!
Richard Hammond’s Net Worth
Having hosted some of the biggest shows on TV, Hammond has amassed an impressive net worth estimated at $45 million. Much of this wealth has come through his tenure at Top Gear and subsequent projects. Combined with property investments and various business ventures, he enjoys financial security for life after TV.
Unknown Facts about Richard Hammond
Here are some lesser-known facts about Richard Hammond:
- Has a genius-level IQ of 129 – He once took an advanced Mensa test and scored in the top 2% of intelligence quotients globally.
- Used to be a model – Before his broadcasting career, Hammond spent 2 years modeling for a French Connection catalog. He made some extra cash this way with his slim build and good looks.
- Has a lifelong phobia of insects – Particularly moths, which he finds terrifying. Once, I had to abandon filming a Top Gear segment when swarmed by moths at night!
- His daughters are named after cars – Hammond named his first daughter Isabella after the Isabella concept car. And he named his younger daughter Willow after the Willow Run manufacturing plant in Detroit.
- Owns over 25 classic and sports cars – As a passionate car collector, Hammond owns various vintage and high-performance vehicles. The most valuable is his 1969 Opel GT, worth over $50k.
- He is an avid pianist and guitar player – He learned piano from childhood and enjoys jamming to rock and blues tunes on guitar. Hammond also owns several six and twelve-string guitars.
- Loves skydiving and other extreme sports – Never one to shy away from death-defying feats, he enjoys pushing boundaries with bungee jumping, white water rafting, and racing snowmobiles.
- Is obsessed with aircraft and aviation – From single-engine Cessnas to ex-military jets, Hammond owns multiple aircraft and often pilots them recreationally. He also previously held a helicopter pilot’s license.
The Final Verdict
Far from ‘warming the bench’, Hammond continues achieving huge success. He reached 35 million views co-hosting the science show Richard Hammond’s Workshop in 2020. Fans also loved his adventurous treks across mysterious jungle locations for the Discovery Channel’s Richard Hammond’s Big! series.
While Top Gear days may be over, his genuine warmth and humor still captivate millions. Having survived the ultimate near-death experience, Richard Hammond continues grabbing life by the horns as Britain’s most death-defying TV host!
1. What is Richard Hammond’s height?
Richard Hammond’s height is 5 feet 7 inches or 170 cm.
2. Who is Richard Hammond’s wife?
Richard Hammond has been married to Amanda “Mindy” Hammond since 2002. Mindy helps run their classic car restoration business, “The Smallest Cog”.
3. How did Richard Hammond crash?
In 2006, Hammond crashed a jet-powered car at 288 mph while filming Top Gear, suffering a serious brain injury. The front tire blew, causing the vehicle to spin out of control.
4. Did Richard Hammond recover?
Yes, after being in a coma for two weeks, Hammond awoke and went through intensive rehab. He fully recovered over 5 years, retaining only minor coordination and memory issues.
5. Does Richard Hammond have a child?
He has two daughters with his wife Mindy – Isabella Hammond and Willow Hammond, named after cars.
6. Why did Top Gear end?
Top Gear ended in 2015 after Jeremy Clarkson had an altercation with a producer. His contract was not renewed, leading Hammond, May, and others to leave the show.
7. Does Richard Hammond have a family?
Yes, Richard Hammond has a wife named Mindy and two daughters. They live together on a farm estate in Herefordshire county near the Wales border.