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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

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Richard Hammond hits back at politically correct critics as he defends Top Gear antics: ‘Were never laddish!’

today24/10/2023

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Richard Hammond has slapped down the suggestion that he, Jeremy Clarkson and James May represented “lad culture” during their time on the BBC motoring show, Top Gear.

The trio fronted the show – which has since been axed following Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s horror crash – for a decade and a half before departing in 2015.


Their time on-screen was never short of controversy, with Clarkson sparking over 300 Ofcom complaints after joking that truck drivers “murder prostitutes”.

Clarkson’s remarks came during a 2008 episode – the same year in which the Beeb had to apologise after he sparked a racism row after branding Mexican people “lazy”.

The trio’s antics also drew criticism when they travelled further afield than the UK, sparking controversy by painting “Man love rules, OK” on the side of a truck in the deeply conservative US state of Alabama.

While Hammond, May and Clarkson’s behaviour could be perceived as banter, the trio were accused of bullying and boorishness and became the face of “laddishness” for many – a label Hammond has been quick to refute.

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May now present The Grand Tour

GETTY

“We were never laddish,” Hammond stated in an interview with i Magazine. “As people? Not one of us is what you’d describe as ‘a lad’.

“We weren’t misogynistic. We were basically just three nice blokes,” he insisted.

Hammond went on to insist he, Clarkson and May “pushed against” the very perception of “laddishness” that motoring journalism had garnered over the years.

He added: “We always said you don’t have to be a car nerd to watch the show because we do that for you.”

Doubling down on his stance of “un-laddishness”, Hammond brought up the fact he doesn’t follow football as an example, claiming he often gets “stuck and embarrassed” when it’s brought up in conversation.

Hammond left Top Gear alongside Clarkson and May when the Clarkson’s Farm host punched producer Oisin Tymon and was subsequently fired.

They found a new home on Amazon Prime Video with the Grand Tour, another hugely successful motoring show serving a streaming audience, along with Top Gear producer Andy Wilman.

Despite numerous attempts to cancel the trio, all three have continued to excel on-screen away from the world of motoring – with Clarkson running Diddly Squat in Clarkson’s Farm, May trying his hand at cooking and travelling the world in his own docu-series, and Hammond restoring classic cars in Richard Hammond’s Workshop.



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