Anorak News | Richard Hammond’s Horror

Richard Hammond’s Horror

by | 23rd, October 2006

WHEN Richard Hammond attempted to drive from Elvington airfield, near York, to Australia the hard way, the papers looked on with furrowed brows.

Would Richard make it? Would Top Gear, the TV show he presents, be cancelled? Would he add his name to the list of celebrities to have died on camera – Tommy Copper, Steve Irwin, Anthea Turner and so on?

Well, now the questions get answered. And while the Sun talks of Hammond’s new £2million contract with the BBC, his short-term memory loss and how he says the show must go on, the Mirror leads its news coverage with “The day I died”.

Hammond peers out from the paper’s front page, his left eye a little bloodshot. This is “THE FIRST INTERVIEW”, announces the paper. It is “THE FULL STORY”.

And after six pages of “Richard Hammond: Back from the dead” we realise that the Mirror is right: this is the full version of events.

Hammond, who writes for the Mirror, is now the paper’s star turn. The hack has gone native and has started making news.

“Only the bloodshot white of his left eye gives any sign of how close Richard Hammond came to death after crashing a jet car at 288mph,” begins the story of one day in the life of a petrol head.

And instantly we spot two things:
1. Hammond did not die and then return to life as the Mirror’s headline promises. He nearly died.
2. At 288mph he failed to break the British land speed record – even if the Mirror goes on to say that Richard will now “describe what it is like to travel at 300mph in a jet car”.

Perhaps, like Hammond, the paper is experiencing problems remembering what it told its readers only a short while ago?

So we’ll move on to hear from the presenter who put his life on the line for good telly.

“I was upside down inhaling a field,” says he. “My nose and eyes were full of earth. I’d gone ploughing on my head. My last thought was ‘Oh bugger, that’s gone wrong. Well, we’re checking out now. You’ve had it.”

Even in his weakened condition, Hammond speaks in a series on blokish one-liners. “I was aware of my brain saying ‘We’ll wave the flag’ – and that was the point I passed out,” he adds.

This is the accident diluted. Even the doctors are at it. Rather than panic, chest pads and drips, Hammond tells us that doctors have a “points system”: “Fifteen is normal, three is a flatline. I was a three.”

But Hammond is still here. And he will soon be back on the telly. But before he does, he needs to recover. And that means taking a rest.

“Tomorrow,” promises the Mirror, “Mindy, the moment I thought I’d lost him.” It’s Richard’s wife. She’s going to take up the tale for where her husband left off.

Now, where were we..?

Posted: 23rd, October 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink