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Arts/Entertainment, Politics/Current Affairs

Richard Hammond Making “Very Good Progress” After Accident

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 at 20:06 by Simon Kimber

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, who was hospitalised last Wednesday after an attempt to break the British land speed record in a jet-powered car went wrong, is said to be making very good progress and could be transferred from Leeds General Infirmary to a hospital closer to his home near Cheltenham if his recovery continues as strongly.

Hundreds of cards and flowers have been sent to the popular presenter, so many in fact that a separate room has had to be used.  In response to this overwhelming deluge of floral tributes Hammond and his family have requested that well-wishers instead make a donation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service that undoubtedly saved his life.

Total donations since the accident are estimated to have passed the quarter of a million mark and UK motoring website PistonHeads.com has set up it’s own donation page (click here!) which at the time of writing accounts for over £145,000 of that sum.

Unsurprisingly the political correctness crowd has squirmed out of the woodwork calling for Top Gear to be axed because of the accident, presumably citing that the evils of speed “preached” by the show are somehow responsible for the be-hooded chavs wheel-spinning around supermarket car parks in their “MAX Powered” Citroen Saxos.  The possibility that these youths are just wankers who weren’t smacked enough as children obviously wasn’t considered.

It really is the whole “Video Nasties” saga all over again.  If watching Top Gear is going to make you jump in your car and try to copy what you have just seen then so is watching motor-racing, or any movie with a car chase in it, and you probably have psychological problems that mean you shouldn’t be behind the wheel in the first place.  Not you personally, obviously.  Although you do look a bit shifty.

Failing an out-right ban the nanny-state aficionados will want the show toned down into some sort of bland magazine show that reviews the latest “every day” affordable cars and removes all emphasis on speed or the marques that are considered unattainable to the average lay-person.

Ok, fair enough, perhaps there is a need for such a programme, but Top Gear isn’t it.  Love it or hate it, Top Gear is not meant to be factual or educational.  It’s light hearted escapism that calls to the inner child who has supercar posters all over their bedroom walls. It’s pure entertainment and to treat it as anything different is like complaining that Ricky Gervais’ “The Office” did not give a deep enough insight into the day to day accounting processes of a Slough paper merchants.

It seems almost inevitable that the continuing waves of political correctness are eventually going to erode any sense of fun and adventure from our world and chop off any fingers that still try to stick themselves up at authority.  Formula 1 cars will soon be limited to 60mph and fitted with indicators while news reports will all be shot on bluescreens over a backdrop filmed by robotic radio controlled cameras.

When we reach the twilight of our lives we shouldn’t be surprised to hear the words “Fun? What was that Grandpa?”

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4 Comments on “Richard Hammond Making “Very Good Progress” After Accident”

  1. Sue Stewart Says:

    “the nanny-state aficionados will want the show toned down into some sort of bland magazine show that reviews the latest ??every day? affordable cars”

    Haven’t they already made a start? They’ve got Fifth Gear - which, to be fair, did seem realise how boring it was but could only tackle it by re-hashing the Top Gear stunts and pretending that they’d come up with this exciting stuff all by their very own selves. Presumably they’ll switch back to soya milkshakes and Toyota Priuses now.

    Top Gear is a true original - of course the grey people want to tone it down.

  2. Sharon Says:

    I gather that Top Gear has it’s own, personal, entourage of Health & Safety people all attempting to make any stunts as safe as hurtling around in a ton or so of metal on a fuel tank can possibly be. Good for them!

    It’s in the nature of such things that accidents will happen. That’s life. That’s why they all wear seatbelts, crash helmets (if considered appropriate), & do their ‘test drives’ on an old airport rather than the local motorway.

    Pity other ‘boy racers’ don’t do the same!

    I’m with the writer on this one: -

    “If watching Top Gear is going to make you jump in your car and try to copy what you have just seen then so is watching motor-racing, or any movie with a car chase in it, and you probably have psychological problems that mean you shouldn??t be behind the wheel in the first place.”

    What price personal responsibility?

  3. Matt Freeman Says:

    Personally, I don’t really care about the Top Gear crowd. I think Jeremy Clarkson is an idiot - driving a Range Rover over a protected bog is pretty dull, stupid stuff - but I was ABSOLUTELY baffled when Metro readers voted Hammond their Hero the Year.

    I mean, seriously, what the hell? How on earth does crashing a car make you a hero?

    Surely, say, firefighters, doctors, nurses, army guys…hell even a Premierleague footballer who actually WON something would have been a better choice?!

    What actually defines a hero these days anyway?

  4. Jislizard Says:

    I think that they should take all the kind donations from the well wishers, buy another jet powered car and give Jeremy Clarkson a go!

    What’s the worst that can happen?

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