When Richard Hammond joined Top Gears…

If Top Gear has become a global phenomenon, we owe it to the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. A perfectly balanced trio, where each had a distinct role that never overlapped with the others.

Rarely in the history of television have we witnessed a phenomenon quite like Top Gear, exported worldwide, spawning local editions in at least 8 countries without ever quite convincing audiences as much as the original.

The strange story of Richard Hammond

But how did Richard Hammond land on Top Gear and radically change his life? He recounted the tale himself in a new YouTube video. Initially aspiring to be an architect, Hammond met Clarkson, the writer Richard Porter, and the executive producer Andy Wilman before auditioning with a car.

Hammond thought he had completely botched the audition and returned home disheartened. Top Gear would be a fantastic show, but he believed he wouldn’t be part of it. He couldn’t have been more wrong: a few months later, he received the call to join the show. Like a racer on the podium, he shed a few tears but, most importantly, uncorked a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

But what car did he use for the audition? For the first demo produced, he used a company Renault Laguna. During the test with Clarkson, he drove a Skoda Superb. Yet, how did he ultimately secure the job? According to Clarkson, solely because he arrived with a 1982 Porsche 911 SC that looked like a wreck…

As we know, after the Top Gear adventure ended rather abruptly, the trio continued discussing cars with The Grand Tour on Amazon, which, however, announced its conclusion by the end of 2023.

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