Top Gear, a British television series about motor vehicles is the most widely watched factual television program in the world, which began in 1977. In 2002, a new format was proposed, which lead to the quirky, humorous and sometimes controversial style popular today. Richard Hammond was a part of the initial presenting team for the relaunch, and by 2008, Top Gear had become so popular that the waiting list to get tickets for a recording included more than 300,000 names, or 21 years' worth of episodes. He is sometimes referred to as "The Hamster" by fans and his co-presenters on Top Gear due to his name and comparatively small stature.
One of Hammond's defining moments on the show was a high-speed dragster crash he was involved in while filming in September 2006 near York. Hammond never wanted the crash to be discussed on the show after he was forced to report on it (to spontaneous audience applause), but all three Top Gear presenters have since referred to it in jokes during the news segment of the programme, keeping the joke alive.
In addition to his TV career, Richard Hammond has also authored children's books around car themes, including "Can You Feel the Force?: Putting the Fizz Back into Physics, and "Car Science." Hammond's net worth is approximately $25 million dollars. His home, "Bollitree Castle" is located in the small village of Weston-under-Penyard.