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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 compared to May and Clarkson. Following a high-speed dragster crash while filming in September near York, Hammond returned in the first episode of series 9 broadcast on 28 January to a hero's welcome, complete with dancing girls, aeroplane-style stairs and fireworks. The show also contained images of the crash, which had made international headlines, with Hammond talking through the events of the day after which the audience broke into spontaneous applause.
Hammond then requested that the crash never be mentioned on the show again, though all three Top Gear presenters have since referred to it in jokes during the news segment of the programme.
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He told his colleagues, "The only difference between me now, and before the crash, is that I like celery now and I didn't before". Vampire dragster crash[ edit ] During filming of a Top Gear segment at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York on 20 SeptemberHammond was injured in the crash of the jet-powered car he was piloting.
The intention was to record the maximum speed, not to measure an average speed over a measured course, and for Hammond to describe how it felt. Rescuers felt a pulse and heard the unconscious Hammond breathing before the car was turned upright.Adele at the BBC: When Adele wasn't Adele... but was Jenny!
Immediately afterwards he also seems to have followed his training and to have pulled back on the main parachute release lever, thus shutting down the jet engine and also closing the jet and afterburner fuel levers.
The main parachute did not have time to deploy before the car ran off the runway. Hammond requested at the end of the episode that his fellow presenters never mention the crash again, a request which has been generally observed, although occasional oblique references have been made by all three presenters. My Story, which contains first-hand accounts from both Hammond and his wife about the crash, immediate aftermath, and his recovery, was published later that year.
Hammond also appeared on the BBC chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross revealing he was "a bit fighty" right after the crash and then in a coma for two weeks. Science Abuse[ edit ] Main article: Science Abuse InHammond became the first presenter of Brainiac: Vic Reeves took his place as main presenter. He presented the Crufts dog show inthe and British Parking Awards, and has appeared on School's Outa quiz show on BBC One where celebrities answer questions about things they learned at school.
He has also presented The Gunpowder Plot: Science Abuse on Sky 1. He was also a team captain on the BBC Two quiz show, Petrolheadsin which a memorable part was one where Hammond was tricked into bumping his classic Ferrari while trying to parallel park blindfolded in another car. Also in he was voted one of the top 10 British TV talents. During the special, he travelled to various locations around the world, including the Vatican Secret Archivesexploring the history of the Holy Grail.
New hosts and new era: On 16 JuneChris Evans was confirmed as one of the new hosts,  with it later suggested he would be hosting the show alone as part of a new format,  despite a previous announcement that the broadcaster was holding open audition for his co-presenters;  this claim was later dismissed as untrue. Although former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard had been widely reported to be joining the programme as a host, this was dismissed as speculation when he was revealed, on 11 Januaryto be the new host of Channel 4 's coverage for the F1 season.
While the show still retained the use of the show's presentation style and its test driver The Stig, the format received a number of changes — a small number of segments were dropped, the studio received a revamp to its layout, the celebrity segment was redesigned to feature a rallycross-styled challenge, while Evans and LeBlanc would front the show with the other co-presenters appearing "when required".
Designed to be aired after each episode of the new series was aired, its format focused on providing exclusive new content online — hosted by both Reid and Harris, the spin-off would consist of new footage, interviews, specially recorded films and behind-the-scenes access to the main programme.
In addition, the new series aired with only six of the ten episodes that it promised to show. The new look of the show received mixed feedback from critics and viewers alike — although praise was given for the inclusion of LeBlanc, Harris and Reid, the new format was panned for its sluggish pace, the lack of humour in the studio segments, and the length of time spent on the revamped celebrity segment, "Star in a Rally-Cross Car". The most negative feedback received for the 23rd series was towards Evans' involvement — his presentation style was largely criticised, along with the lack of chemistry he had with LeBlanc.
In addition to feedback, several newspaper articles highlighted the fact that the new series struggled to make reasonable viewing figures, with this partly blamed on its broadcast schedule putting it up against live broadcasts of the UEFA Euro championships.
On 4 July, following the series finale, Evans announced his resignation from Top Gear, based on feedback. The show's format was refocused on elements developed in early series, a deeper work on chemistry between the presenters, while also revising the celebrity segment — as the arrangement for the 23rd series had proven to be a failure,  the segment returned to its original format, though under the title of "Star in a Reasonably Fast Car".
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Format Each episode of Top Gear focus a series of segments, switching between those filmed within the programme's main studio before a studio audience, and pre-recorded films conducted before the broadcast of an episode — these films primarily cover major segments of the episodes, with studio segments often used as links or breaks between them.
The most common forms of segments used in the show's history are "Car Reviews", "Power Laps", "Star in a Car", "Cool Wall", "Challenges" and "Races". Car reviews A major segment of the programme, happening at least once in most episodes, it focuses on the presenters conducting a road-test of a car, looking at such factors as ride quality, speed, handling, practicality, and reliability.
These reviews are conducted either on and around Top Gear's test trackor on the roads of Britain and abroad, and often focus on one car, primarily from well known car manufacturers. Although the programme operated in a standard manner in the early series to the original format of car reviews in the show, it soon began to adopt an unusual approach of reviewing cars, by conducting an unusual test s to either put a vehicle through its paces in an arranged scenario, or to demonstrate and showcase an exceptional quality that it exhibited.
An example of this comes from the "Toyota Hilux Destruction" film, divided between two episodes of the third series — to prove the strength of a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, presenters Clarkson and May set about subjecting it to various, mainly destructive tests to see if it could survive against them and still run, allowing the use of tools for repair but prohibiting the replacement of any components with the exception of the windscreen.
Other notable uses of this unusual approach have included: Testing the ride quality of two off-road vehicles, by having a passenger receive a tattoo in each vehicle as it is driven off-road, to see how smoothly it can be done in each. Testing a car's handling, by racing it through a shopping centre against a more powerful car.
Assigning the presenter's mothers with the duty of reviewing a small selection of cars. Testing the comfort of a vehicle by chauffeuring a VIP to an event.
Examples of such "review" challenges have included: Road-testing cars in the style of "Russian Roulette", in which presenters did not know what they would get to drive, and had to review it in the presence of their owners while driving them and their car back to their home.
Comparing the practicality of two new vehicles, by operating them as taxi cabs for a night.
Spending 24 hours within a car, without stepping out of it any point within the time period. Taking an off-road vehicle up a mountain in Scotland. Power laps Main article: Power Laps The Top Gear Test Track used in Power Laps, along with the show's celebrity segment This segment focuses on a featured car undergoing a timed lap of the programme's test track, with the car driven by The Stig.
Often used after the main review of an episode, it mainly involved the car s from the review, though on occasions sometimes featured vehicles that either had been reviewed in a previous episode but couldn't be put on the track due to problems or unfavourable conditions on the track, or were special models such as racing versions of the car.
On occasions when multiple cars did a timed lap, the episode either shows the film of each car one after the other, or alongside each other. After the film is shown, the presenter reveals the time to the studio audience and the viewer — abbreviations next to lap times, such as "W" for "wet", highlight if they were conducted under certain track conditions.
In order to qualify for a place on the Power Lap Board, cars that undergo a Power Lap must fulfil certain requirements: They must be commercially available. They must be able to negotiate a speed bump As such, vehicles that do not qualify, have their times mentioned, but do not get included on the Lapboard.
Examples of this include the Renault F1 car 0: Top Gear test track Another major segment in the programme, featured in the majority of episodes broadcast, the format for this involves a celebrity being invited to take part in a timed lap around Top Gear's test track in a car provided for the segment. They then join the presenters in the studio for an interview, mainly about their car history, their performance in the car and a look back to the highlights from their practice laps.
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After viewing footage of their timed lap, their time is stated and recorded onto a leaderboard, much in a similar fashion to lap times for Power Laps, including the use of abbreviations to denote track conditions the celebrity faced. Although only one celebrity is involved in this segment, in a number of episodes, including the majority of the eleventh and twenty-third series, it sometimes featured two celebrities taking part, with footage of each timed lap shown one after the other.
From the first series to the twenty-second series, when the show was presented by Clarkson, Hammond and May, the segment was entitled as "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" — its name was derived from the fact that the celebrities drove around the test track in an affordable car available on the market.
The segment was often shown during the middle of an episode, and had the celebrities interviewed by Clarkson. The affordable car used in the segment was changed several times, each being replaced after a number of series — because the new car was often different, in terms of engine specifications, power, speed, handling, and other factors, a new leaderboard would be created a direct result. In addition, the introduction of a new car would be reserved for the opening episode, with the celebrity segment pre-recorded before the series began — it featured no interview, and involved a group of celebrities taking part to set a lap time in the new car.
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Up until the eighth series, the rules of the segment were that celebrities were given a set number of laps to do, with the fastest amongst these being recorded, but from the ninth series onwards, the rules were changed so that they were now given a few practice laps to get to grips with both the car and the track, before conducting a timed lap.
In some episodes, the invited celebrity was a F1 driver, with the segment referred to as "F1 Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" — while it stuck to the standard format, the only difference was that the F1 drivers were restricted to the use of the first car used in the segment, which was retained to maintain fairness with those invited.
During Evans short-lived tenure as the show's host, the twenty-third series saw the segment renamed as "Star in a Rally-Cross Car". The first change was that the interview, conducted with Evans, was much longer, with the celebrities involved discussing what was their favourite car in a certain field and the studio audience voting on which one they preferred.
The second change, which was the primary reason for the change in name, was that celebrities drove around a specially modified, rally-cross version of the Top Gear test track — while it used the majority of the circuit, it featured two off-road sections and a small jump — in a rally-spec Mini Cooper.
After the series ended, the segment received negative feedback and criticism from viewers and critics, and was dropped from the programme as a result. Apart from the car being much faster the segment was split into two parts — the celebrity joined much earlier in the episode, discussed their car history with LeBlanc, Harris and Reid, gave some feedback on a film that had been shown prior to footage of their timed lap, and viewed footage of a practice lap in which Harris tutored them on how to get around the circuit in the new car, before the footage of their timed lap.
This was altered slightly in Series 25, with it returning to only one part with the training run still shown.
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Top Gear challenges As part of Top Gear's format, every episode has contained at least a number of segments involving challenges. In the first few series, these were focused on novelty challenges and stunts that were typically based on absurd premises, such as a bus jumping over motorcycles as opposed to the more typical scenario of a motorcycle jumping over busses or a nun driving a monster truck. However, these later changed into situations in which the presenters were either competing against each other with a car they chose in a series of tests, or working together to accomplish a goal, with the tagline "How hard can it be?
Challenges that appear in episodes, mainly fall under the following categories: These types of challenges are often done as a competition, in that the presenters' choices undergo a series of tasks, which they have no prior knowledge of, that are designed to determine how well each car fares on various aspects, such as reliability and power, with each presenter scoring points based on how well their car did in the task. The winner in such competitions is often the presenter who scored the most points.
While they mostly work together to create something unique, occasionally they will make their own designs separately and then compete against each other to see whose design is the best.