I love Top Gear. It is hard to decide if it is the cars, the mad stunts the presenters do, the 'experiments' like converting three normal land-lubber vehicles to ocean-going (well lake-going) disasters or the celebrity interviews like asking Christopher Eccleston what was wrong with him because he was 30 before he learned to drive.
Definitely the presenters are the biggest factor in making the show. Ok, a lot of people can put across madcap ideas and some can even bring them to fruition. Care to convert an Estate car to a typical old-fashioned English living room with a wood burning stove and bring it for a run on the motorway anyone? However, on Top Gear, it is the way the presenters come across as three schoolboys who could not believe they are effectively being paid to play with the most expensive toys in the world makes the show very appealing. Start a conversation about Top Gear in any room in the UK and I will guarantee you that most of the people in that room will say that presenting that show would be their ideal job.
Look at that face, almosts moves me to want to pay for the pints!
Hammond is my own favourite. James (May) is ok but you get the feeling that if you ventured into conversation with him and went beyond the subjects of cars, his job, beer and not very many other things, his eyes would start to glaze over. Jeremy (Clarkson) is ok too, funny obnoxious if you like that kind of humour but, oh my lord, does his voice grate. I seriously could not like to wake up to those sardonic tones on the pillow beside me every morning, I would end up hurting him.... An hour in my living room a week is fine, any more would not be. Now we come to RH, the pocket rocket, as I have heard *female friends* refer to him (ahem....) You get the feeling he would be a great man to go for a pint with and there are not many people who move me to say that about them. He is funny, warm, able to take a slagging, daft, a little bit brave, perserverant and he gets the giggles, which is a very endearing feature in a cute man.
My heart goes out to his wife and daughters tonight. Daft bugger. I hope he recovers fully soon.
The vampire jet, the one RH was driving is now in postcard sized pieces according to witnesses
This is the car Hammond was driving when he crashed. It is called the Vampire Jet. It weighs 2,200 lbs, is 30 feet long and uses 7-10 gallons of fuel per mile. It can go from 0 to 272 mph in 6 seconds and is powered by the Rolls Royce Orpheus jet engine which is theoretically capable of 370mph. The car holds the "Outright British Land Speed Record" which he was trying to beat when he crashed.
23:14: Sky News have just reported that Hammond's condition has been downgraded from critical to stable.
See, prayers do work after all.
In the last few hours 1600 people have mentioned Hammond in their English-speaking blogs, I imagine very few had a bad word to say about him. That is a lot of good wishes going through t'internet.
He has to come back to Top Gear once he recovers (positive thinking people!) Can you imagine the slagging he is going to get? Jeremy will feign amazement that "the teeth" are still in one piece and James will insist on strapping him into a child's safety seat before he drives anything. I imagine the producers may also try to introduce a new motorised shopping trolley review section, guess who that segment will go to?
Imagine the fun he will have filling in the question on official forms that reads: "Have you had any accidents in the last 12 months, if so please describe in detail in the blank box below"