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Former Top Gear host Richard Hammond says he’s sold most of his cars and drives a van UK News

Former Top Gear host Richard Hammond has admitted he may be going through a midlife crisis, but said he does the complete opposite of many men.

Instead of going for brand new luxury sports cars and living a lavish lifestyle, the petrol chief announced that he had stripped down and sold most of his prized engines.

Despite being acclaimed for his love of stylish four-wheelers, Richard has told how he now drives a heavier van – reports The Mirror.

Read more: Freddie Flintoff crash: Top Gear presenter breaks silence after 124mph car stunt goes wrong

According to Wales Online, he said: “Do I have a midlife crisis? The archetypal, stereotypical thing is to buy a sports car, and I got rid of most of mine. I mainly drive a van or a Land Rover now. So I think, yeah, maybe I am. Men do – we evaluate things.

Richard started hosting Top Gear with fellow stars Jeremy Clarkson and Richard May 20 years ago. But the trio still work together after launching The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime in 2015.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May

Richard says the three presenters, who are known for their argumentative style and controversial humor, are still bickering.

“Oh my God, we’re bickering,” Richard said. “But we never argue because we always work together. If you think of someone you’ve spent the last 20 years with, you’ll know how it works.

“If I talk about motorcycles, it annoys Jérémie because he hates them.

“And if Jeremy and James are talking about WWII planes, it pisses me off because that’s not my topic. We know each other’s buttons but we don’t press them very often.”

Richard’s love of cars saw him involved in a disastrous accident in 2006 while filming an episode of Top Gear. While driving a Vampire jet car at 288 mph, a tire on the vehicle exploded and he was knocked over.

His protective helmet was dragged on the ground. He was then airlifted to hospital and remained in a coma for two weeks.

He suffered brain injuries but made a full recovery.

However, 10 years later he was involved in another accident when his supercar crashed into a Swiss mountain and caught fire. Since then, he no longer engages in so many perilous stunts.

He said his wife Mindy, 56, and daughters Izzy, 21, and Willow, 18, had enough to worry about.

Richard added: “Mindy never says no to me doing dangerous things because I never asked her. I wouldn’t do it now out of respect for her and the girls.

“I don’t want to risk withdrawing from their lives because we all have fun together and I wouldn’t want to not be there to fill that role.”

Richard Hammond races the Vampire jet car at over 280mph on the Elvington track before its tragic crash
Richard Hammond races the Vampire jet car at over 280mph on the Elvington track before its tragic crash

His latest show, Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions, is much less dangerous. The Channel 4 game show pits teams of engineers against each other to make machines out of everyday objects such as books, string and toilet rolls.

The show appealed to Richard as he claims to have attempted to make his own inventions, including a Wallace and Gromit style device that would have him lunch at the pull of a level. The device did not work.

“I’ve tried inventions before and they never worked,” he said. “So when Channel 4 rang and asked me if I wanted to present the show on more or less the same subject, I said ‘Yes please’.”

The series challenges contestants to build crazy machines to perform mundane tasks such as making beds, feeding dogs or running baths.

Crazy Contraptions by Richard Hammond begins tomorrow night (Friday April 29) at 8 p.m., Channel 4.

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