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up close with ... RICHARD HAMMOND.

Name Richard Hammond Image Diminutive, puppy-eyed presenter Best Known For Co-hosting Top Gear, alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May Early Life Born in Birmingham in 1969, his family moved to Ripon where his father ran a probate business. After attending Harrogate College of Art and Technology, Richard decided not to pursue a degree and instead took a series of parttime jobs, including being a 'chicken chaser' at a local farm.

Career His broadcasting career began on local radio, before Richard got his big TV break hosting a number of daytime shows on the channel Men & Motors. In 2002, he landed a slot on BBC's Top Gear, where he was given the nickname Hamster. He has since presented a host of different series. Last year he began presenting more serious documentaries and secured a world exclusive interview with his hero, Evel Knievel. He is the current face of the rather enjoyable Total Wipeout. Love Life Married Amanda in 2002. They have two daughters, Isabella and Willow. Don't Mention The accident which almost claimed his life in 2006. He asked for it never to be mentioned on Top Gear again after footage from that fateful day was shown.

Quote On his Top Gear colleagues "Of course we get on - the show wouldn't work if we didn't get on. The arguments you see onscreen are for real and often carry on offscreen as well."

. appears Wipeout, Richard Hammond on Total BBC1, tonight 6.50pm
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2009
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