The Grand Tour

Richard Hammond Shares Highs and Lows of Filming Top Gear and The Grand Tour

In a recent Drivetribe interview, Richard Hammond shared his most and least favorite moments from filming over the years. Whether in the Arctic or the Bolivian rain-forest, the adventures are always exciting for us as fans, even if they aren’t so great to experience firsthand.

At first Hammond was asked what moment he wished had made the cut over the years, but instead ended up on the cutting room floor. Interestingly enough, he brought up a time where they were at the North Pole. With Jeremy Clarkson and James May racing in a Toyota truck, Hammond was left to fend with a team of dogs pulling a sledge.

We all remember the shenanigans of Clarkson and May, who Hammond calls, “two fat men in a pickup drinking gin.” Compare that to the Hamster, who at one point fell of his sledge and was dragged face-down on the ice by his dogs.

What didn’t air in the episode, was Richard finding a polar research center, and exploring the abandoned site. He claims that the experience was very serene, like being on a Moon base, with no other human even remotely close.

When asked about the absolute worst experience, Hammond recollects a skin-crawling story. It took place while filming the Bolivia special, deep in the rain-forest.

The guys were covering ground between camp, not filming, and had an eight-hour drive ahead of them. Richard was in a Land Cruiser with a top that didn’t close and set of broken windows, having to drive with no protection from the creepy critters in the night.

Every time I drove past a tree, it would drop everything that was on it into the car. Every insect would leap out.

At one point he found a spider was resting above him, suspended from the Rover’s ceiling. He freaked out, pulled over, and showed the crew doctor, who identified it as the necrosis-causing brown recluse.

A little further on, Richard thought he was in the clear, until he felt a weight on his shoulder. Freaking out, he twitched and flicked at the spider that had landed on him, only to realize he hit it into the car. Now he had to continue driving through the jungle at night with a deadly spider somewhere in his vehicle!

No doubt, all of us would trade spots with Richard Hammond 99 days out of 100. That day however, he can keep his shoes, because if there’s one thing I don’t mess with, it’s spiders.

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