It's probably not that great being Richard Hammond at the moment. I doubt it was ever that brilliant, to be honest, but now he has to lie there, half legless (and not just because of that gin), absorbing the full weight of Drivetribe wit and humour, defenceless.
It's hard not to join in. When I was with him in the hospital, straight after his get-off, a nurse came in and said she had come 'to clean him up a bit'. I had to dive in and explain that the beard and 'tache combo are supposed to be there, and to leave them.
More to the point, there's been some speculation on here as to Hammond's short-term future as a man who makes a living driving around in cars and talking about them, in a slightly chirpy voice. Because, for now, he only has one leg.
Autonomous cars, suggest some. Motability cars for the disabled, say others. And these are worthy suggestions, but hang on. It's his left leg.
Now when I started in this business, busting the knee of your left leg would have condemned you to months of misery on the mid-range diesel automatic executive saloon giant test, but it's not like that any more. I think it's fair to say that the most interesting and exciting cars currently being made are all one-leg, two-arm propositions. Anything electric and futuristic, any AMG Merc, all the interesting 911s. I'm beginning to think that using your left leg to drive is a bit cubic.
And all supercars. They all have two pedals and paddles. Unless Hammond really is thinking of reviewing an arse-kicking contest, I can't see that he needs his left leg at all for work.
In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if he's pulled a bit of a blinder. I can see a near future where we're divvying up the cars to drive on the show, and Hammond will always end up in the McLaren or the Lambo because of the leg issue, and I'll have to do the base-spec saloon because I can still work the forgotten pedal on the left. I'm reminded of my brother always getting more roast turkey at Christmas because he claimed he didn't like the sprouts or parsnips. I got extra veg.
Seriously; he's pretty much guaranteed a good time in great cars. Take my beloved bright-orange 458 Speciale. He'll have no problem in that. He can pop it in wet mode and fully automatic and trundle around town like a midwife in an old CVT Volvo. But when he gets to those lovely sweeping roads nearer to his home, he can twist the manettino switch to 'sport' or even 'race', switch out the auto changes, and let his fingers do the important work; mining the glorious and sonorous reaches of the last naturally aspirated Ferrari V8's upper rev-range as he howls towards the uphill right-left flick, brakes, drops two or three cogs with nothing more than a dismissive hand gesture, and then plants the pedal and lunges...
Um. On second thoughts...