Richard Hammond talks about the new series of 'The Grand Tour'
As we know 'The Grand Tour' will be returning to Amazon Prime on 18th January 2019, and it has been recommissioned for another series...or two, but more of that later. The public relations machine is now winding into gear and today we have the first of what will no doubt be several interviews with the trio that will appear in the lead up to the series release date.
The Mail on Sunday devotes a large spread in today's issue to an interview with Richard Hammond, in which they pose the question 'Has Richard Hammond learned his lesson?'
Hammond looks quizzical, perhaps he's wondering how many more scrapes he can get into (Photo: Amazon Prime)
The Rickety Bridge
The trailer for Series 3 shows Hammond in the Colombian rainforest driving across a particularly rickety wooden bridge across a river canyon in a truck that seems very wide on such a small bridge. As the Mail says '...When the truck stalls, the quivering panic emanating from the cabin is not remotely fictitious. This is the sight and sound of a man in fear for his life....'
‘Oh, that sodding bridge,’ Hammond is quoted as saying ‘If you look, I’m shaking from head to foot. I was not acting. I was absolutely c****ing myself.’
It certainly looks terrifying, people often assume that there is no actual jeopardy to Clarkson, Hammond and May on these trips, that the apparent sometimes literal cliffhangers are TV excitement added in the edit to give that impression. This is not the case, of course we know sometimes a little TV magic might be employed to help to tell a story, but moments such as this just happen and can't be faked.
‘I’m not the favourite of our insurers,’ Hammond says in the interview. ‘I have cost them a penny or two over the years. After the last crash one of my first thoughts was: “Oh God, how am I ever going to live this down?”’
The Mail on Sunday ask Hammond why he continues to put himself in jeopardy with his two previous infamous crashes still affecting him to this day, why perch in a truck on a dodgy bridge 40ft above a raging torrent?
‘It’s what I do,’ they report was his answer, he goes on to explain to the reporter ‘Look, I’m not gung-ho. I’m the opposite. Before I set off, I want to be assured that it won’t go wrong. I’m not crazy. I’ve got a wife and two beautiful daughters and I want to be around for them. I don’t want to throw it away. My family is my life, I don’t want to spoil their futures by accidentally exiting stage left.’
When the reporter follows up by asking if his family quite as happy about him risking life and limb for a television programme Hammond continued
'Yeah, they are. They’ve never asked me to stop,’ he says, before pausing for a moment. ‘That’s a bit worrying isn’t it?’
The future of The Grand Tour
The interview then moves to the recently announced series three release date and the renewal of the contract which will see series four shown in a new format. without a studio element, the trio producing the filmed travelogue elements, 'Specials' as we've called them before such as the upcoming series three trips to Mongolia, Colombia and Nevada.
Hammond tells the reporter:-
‘It will be those bits that people love, the grand adventures,’ says Hammond. ‘It will still be the sociology of cars, still about us three goofballs bickering. But it is what people told us they wanted.’
When asked Hammond won’t be drawn on the current situation with 'Top Gear', but he says what made the programme work in his day was the chemistry between its presenters. ‘It was there from the get-go,’ he says. ‘You can’t manufacturer it. Or hope to cast it. It happens by chance. That’s it.’
He goes on to say that a love of and deep knowledge of subject matter is critical
'...That cannot be feigned. What we do has always been rooted in our shared love of cars. All I thought about from the age of five was counting off the days until I could drive. The fact is, it’s three car obsessives talking about something we love.
‘You can’t set off and hope something happens, so we have to go with enough of a plan,’ he says. ‘But beyond that what makes the film is what happens in between. That’s what makes people watch.’
How many series?
When talking to the reporter about The Grand Tour and it's success Hammond is quoted as saying that they have no idea of viewing figures as Amazon do not tell even them, but.... '...The fact they have signed us up for two more series suggests we’re drawing people in. They’re not stupid and it’s not cheap to make.’
Two more series? This is interesting, as far as we know only series four has been announced, but as it has been said it will be shown over two years perhaps Hammond means that and it's not an allusion to a series five, much as we would all like that to be the case.
Please see the original interview in The Mail on Sunday by Jim White below;-
I can't wait for 18th January and to see what the trio will do in the future.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.