Richard Hammond Responds to Critics of The Grand Tour’s Over the Top Approach

Ever since The Grand Tour premiered at the end of last month, the criticisms about the show have basically remained the same; it’s too scripted and too over the top. It was no longer believable, the spontaneity was gone, and it felt too forced. I’m not going to lie, I have made a few of these comments myself, regardless of how much I love the show. Well, Richard Hammond is now here to set the record straight.

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In a piece by Waikato Times, Hammond offers his thoughts on how they run the show:

“…it’s the same aim it’s always been: making the very best car show we can. There’s no other way to do it. Consciously modelling it on getting a certain demographic or skewering it towards a certain viewer is not how we do things. We don’t do anything based on science, we do it based on it being funny or informative or exciting.”

On the question of spontaneity and how scripted the show is:

“Spontaneity is still an absolute must. In the old days we couldn’t go to the BBC and say, ‘Hi, can we have tonnes of money to go off to Africa to see if something happens?’ They would say ‘no, you have to come up with a plan’. Now, we have to do that ourselves. At the same time we’d be fools if we weren’t trying new stuff. And as we do we’ll adjust and move on, knowing what works and what we like.”


On the polarizing Episode 2 and how many felt it was the weakest so far:

“OK, if you felt that then you felt that, but other people loved it. That’s what I mean when I say we’re trying stuff. It’s our duty to do that. It would be wrong of us if we passed up the opportunity to reinvent and move on and create something genuinely new. Sometimes you only know where the line is when you’re looking at it over your shoulder.”

On his friendship with the others and the direction of The Grand Tour:

“We are friends, even though we hate each other. But It was also pragmatic and sensible for us to do this. We’re all grown up enough to realise that we all work better when we work together. It’s been intense and time-consuming, but there was such anticipation to see what we’d do that it’s a great relief just to have it out there.”

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