Richard Hammond praises new Top Gear series

Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has praised the programme’s current crop of hosts.

When asked about the latest version of the show, he told the Radio Times that he is pleased audiences have reacted well to the programme.

He added: “I didn’t get to see it because I was travelling the whole time the series was on.

“I gather it was well received and they’re getting into their stride, which is fantastic news.”

Top Gear
Top Gear

The show is now hosted by Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Andrew Flintoff (Ian West/PA)

Hammond, who now fronts The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video alongside fellow former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May, said of the new presenters: “It sounds like they have a good chemistry.”

He added: “Ours took 20 years to get.”

The presenting team currently features Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Andrew Flintoff.

Hammond’s comments come after May gave his seal of approval to the current hosts, who he said are “almost as good” as the original line-up.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain last month that he doesn’t “see why it’s a problem to have two big car shows”.

The Grand Tour Series 3 – London
The Grand Tour Series 3 – London

James May has also praised the efforts of the new Top Gear hosts (Ian West/PA)

Clarkson was dropped from the flagship BBC show in 2015 over what bosses called an “unprovoked physical attack” on producer Oisin Tymon.

He has previously told the Radio Times he could not bring himself to watch the programme under another presenting team.

“It would be like going to visit your baby after it’s been adopted by someone else, and pressing your face up at the window,” he said.

Hammond and May followed Clarkson in leaving the show before launching their rival programme in 2016.

Jeremy Clarkson to present farm show
Jeremy Clarkson to present farm show

Clarkson was dropped by the BBC after what they called an “unprovoked physical attack” on a producer (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Following the departures, Top Gear rebooted with a new presenting team of radio DJ Chris Evans, actor Matt LeBlanc and racing driver Harris.

Evans then announced that he was quitting the show the day after the first series finished, saying his best effort at hosting the show was “not enough”.

LeBlanc then became the show’s lead presenter alongside Harris before he stepped down last year.

McGuinness, who used to present Take Me Out, and former cricketer Flintoff, were drafted in as replacements in 2018.