Richard Hammond is a household name, known for his love of fast cars and exotic travel on the popular show Top Gear. However, in a candid podcast interview on Diary of a CEO, he revealed how his demanding schedule impacted his relationship with his two daughters in his own household.
While Hammond was able to provide for his family financially, he expressed regret about not being there for his daughters. He explained how his daughters feel they “belong” in their home county of Hertfordshire, while he was constantly working in London or abroad.
“I’ve been able to provide well for my girls, but I wish I’d been there more. Of course I do.
“Life would be so different.”
Hammond admitted that he was “hideously addicted to work”, adding that this was “self-verification”, and because of this, he made excuses as to why he wasn’t home with his family.
Hammond also talked about the positive side of pursuing one’s dreams and inspiring others to do the same.
“Often I’ll be sitting in the rainforest filming and there’ll be a camera operator… maybe it’s a bloke [who’s] just had his first children and he’s away from home and he’s upset.
“I’ve said to them ‘You’ve got to remember you’re their first example of how to lead a life.
“They’re gonna look at you and be like ‘Wow – if he can pursue his dreams and do that, I can pursue mine’ and you’ll inspire them!”
Although Hammond missed out on milestone moments with his daughters, he tried to compensate by sharing his “amazing stories” with them. “I never feel solid regret, ever – I just don’t feel it,” he said.
Of course, the famous crash was a very poignant part of the interview, and Hammond revealed his first thoughts after the horrific accident:
“I’ve nearly denied you a father for the rest of your life because I’ve done the wrong thing,” he said, thinking about that horrible moment. Adding that he felt immense amounts of guilt, he admitted that he was never scared.
In the end, Hammond acknowledged that his daughters would have liked him to “just be around.” He may not feel solid regret, but he does feel a sense of guilt for the moments he missed. His story serves as a reminder to all of us that while pursuing our dreams is essential, we should always strive to balance our work and family life.