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'Richard Hammond's Crash Course'

As you surely know, Richard Hammond is setting out on his own – without the other two rascals – in his first American series, Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, which premieres this Monday, April 16, at 10p/9c.

Like Top Gear, Hammond’s new show displays a fascination with vehicles, destruction and… vehicular destruction. But with a very human touch. Hammond says he really gets to know people through the oversized work vehicles they drive – like the Abrams tank on this Monday’s show.

However, Crash Course is by no means the first time that Hammond has done projects without co-conspirators Jeremy Clarkson and James May, and we thought you might want to take a look at small sampling of some of his other endeavors.

Even though these shows aren’t Top Gear, we think you’re going to spot some of the Hamster’s familiar interests.

So buckle your seatbelts, folks.

Since 2009, Hammond has also co-hosted, with Amanda Byram, the game show Total Wipeout, the British version of the American Wipeout. Familiar themes: personal triumph and humiliation in the face of ridiculous physical challenges:

Next up, Richard takes on the kind of task you could imagine for a contestant from Wipeout – he dons a sumo wrestling suit to take on a sumo wrestler:

Even when he takes on history, there’s still the fascination with explosions and destruction. In the documentary The Gunpowder Plot – Exploding the Legend, Hammond asks the question: if the famous historical conspiracy had proceeded to its conclusion (it was thwarted before it got that far), would the explosives have actually been able to blow up Parliament and to kill the king?

On the game show School’s Out, Hammond demonstrates that he’s smarter than the average fifth grader – and the other two celebrity contestants. But if you’re interested in Hammond’s biography, you’ll want to take notice of the excerpt of one of his school report cards in his intro:

Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Centre of the Planet pits man against volcano. And while The Hamster appears to have a healthy respect for the lava-spewing mountain’s destructive capabilities, it’s an actual scientist who seems to behave more like a hapless reality show contestant:

Hammond hasn’t just raced cars. He also MCed dog racing in the Crufts Dog Show.

In Brainiac: Science Abuse, Richard even found a way to combine racing and fireworks:

Richard was a presenter for a show whose name was Should I Worry About…? In this clip, he wonders whether he should be concerned about exercise:

Richard’s not above doing the occasional advert, as they call them in Britain. Here’s one for a supermarket:

Here he employs racing themes to promote a mobile network:

Richard doesn’t only do television. He also produces his own show for the Web, Richard Hammond’s Tech Head. Watch as he attempts to explain internet dating:

On a more serious note, Hammond’s profile of an aging and ailing Evel Knievel was both touching and revealing:


What’s your favorite Richard Hammond moment?


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By Paul Hechinger