Anorak News | Hamming It Up

Hamming It Up

by | 29th, September 2006

RICHARD Hammond is not dead. The TV presenter who crashed while trying to drive a car from Yorkshire to Australia the hard way is very much alive.

Hammond looks healthy enough as he sits on a trolley, ready to make a helicopter ride to a hospital closer to his Gloucestershire home.

The Express leads with a picture of Hammond going one better and making it to his feet. And the Mail’s front page talks of a “Smile that says Top Gear star is on the road to recovery”.

“The Hamster laughs,” says a headline one page in. And he’s got a joke. Beneath the splash “HAMSTER: FIRST PICTURE”, the Sun has Hammond, back on that trolley, asking “CAN’T THIS THING GO ANY FASTER?”

It’s all fun and games, and the impression is that things are just fine. The injuries only hurt when Hammond laughs. He gives a “cheeky wave”. The Star says he had the paramedics “in stitches with his quips”. The paper hears helicopter pilot Steve Cobb tell Hammond: “Last time I saw you I thought you were dead!” The humour is as infectious as MRSA.

But surely this is no joking matter. Hammond had a bit of his hair shaved off and a hole drilled in his head. It is not only Hammond’s co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson whose head is an area of special scientific interest.

The Mail hears neurosurgeon Stuart Rose say the recovery will be “slow and difficult”. It will take six months.

But this information is buried in the text, far away from the pictures of smiling happy faces. Surely there is a risk that others will see Hammond and laugh in the face of danger.

And our fears are not salved when we read that Jude Law has crashed his top-of-the-range Audi. We learn that the day after his accident, Jude experienced neck pain and was heard telling friends he was going to get girlfriend Sienna Miller to give him a massage.

And get a load of Noel Edmonds. Perhaps sensing his chance to take Hammond’s place on Top Gear, Noel thinks the time is ripe to tell us that he once drove his car at 186mph.

It was 20 years ago and Edmonds was on the Tring bypass in a Ford GT40. “I remember arriving at the roundabout horrendously fast,” says Noel. “I almost didn’t stop.”

But Edmonds did stop. And now he adds his name to a growing list of celebrities who have driven cars and experienced rare drama. And found themselves in the papers.

Posted: 29th, September 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink