Saturday, September 23, 2006

Richard Hammond is an individual

There appears to be an awful lot of "discussion" about whether the Top Gear show is irreesposible, whether it's failed to adhere to Health and Safety etc etc. Richard Hammond, and I'm pretty sure he will agree with this sentiment were he to ever read it, is an individual. He chose to get into that rocket powered dragster, no one forced him into it. The BBC is not irresponsible for allowing him to do it, and the idea that there are health and safety worries is classic nanny-statism.

Anyone who watches Top gear knows that the presenters are all petrol heads of the highest order who love power and speed. Richard Hammond would've got into the dragster even if the BBC had said they were not going to film it. That's the type of bloke he is. If we start saying that the show is irresponsible, then we might as well stop showing F1 on the TV too, after all those guys are driving at 200mph and can crash just as easily.

All this discussion around the circumstances of Hammond's accident seem to ignore the vital factor that he took the decision to do it. If in the past we'd been as obssessively risk-averse as we are today, we'd never have broken the sound barrier, gone into space, got to the moon. Taking risks is a natural human instinct. We should stop obssessively restricting the freedom of human action otherwise the nannying will hold us back.


Ellee said...
23 Sep 2006 09:43:00  

I agree it was a terrible accident, just like Steve Irwin. Let's hope he continues to make progress, it was a tragedy.

Hammond is my 13-year-old son's hero, he's recently become addicted to Top Gear. I was worried he might be a fan of Clarkson (he makes me laugh anyway), but it's Hammond's youth - and courage - appeal to younger viewers. James is devastated about it too.

greenham woman said...
23 Sep 2006 10:59:00  

Hammond knew he might die. He was going for a record. Yet he still chose to do it. Perhaps we should stop Ellen Mccarthur sailing around the planet, or firemen, or soldiers ....Perhaps we should ban all undertakings where death is a risk. No more crossing the road for us...

Anonymous said...
23 Sep 2006 19:46:00  

Nobody did force him to get into that fast car. He should have not gone through with it, then none of this would ever have happened. I am glad he is getting better and wish him all the best. Hope Top Gear will continue if he ever gets back to his old self.

Croydonian said...
23 Sep 2006 20:04:00  

All you have to do is watch the programme to see how much the presenters love doing it. They are grown men and they know and accept the risks.

ajd said...
23 Sep 2006 20:38:00  

BBC Prime replaced Top Gear with a Hungarian documentary today, because of this incident.

Serf said...
25 Sep 2006 09:58:00  

They are grown men and they know and accept the risks.

That's far too individualist for the nutters that hate top gear. is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to