Richard Hammond says co-stars prank once got him fired from ‘well-paid’ job

Richard Hammond crashes during race

Richard Hammond has revealed how Jeremy Clarkson and James May cost him a ‘well-paid’ job back in their Top Gear years.

The famous trio have been working together for over two decades, but there was a time when May and Clarkson managed to get Hammond fired from a gig he’d scored doing the adverts for Morrisons.

In an attempt to lure shoppers into their stores, the supermarket brand aired an advert that showed the then-Top Gear presenter pushing a shopping trolley all over the place before finding their store.

However, the ‘well-paid’ gig was short-lived after his chances were scuppered by his Top Gear co-stars.

Appearing on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show live from CarFest last Friday (August 25), the 53-year-old TV presenter recalled: “I’ve not told this [story before]. I’d done the [Morrisons] advert, it’s going quite well and they said ‘we’d like another one of those’.

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“So it’s all booked in the diary and it pays reasonably well. It’s worth doing.

“We were doing our [Top Gear] live stage show at the time at Earls Court and my dear colleagues thought it’d be very funny if on the side of our cars, we had a message.”

But in a classic Clarkson and May move the pair had an ulterior motive to prank Hammond.

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He continued: “I go out onto the stage first, with Morrisons down the side of my car, and the audience goes ‘ha ha’ because they’ve all seen the advert that I’d been doing.

“James comes along with ‘are’ and then Jeremy arrives with a less than complimentary word to finish that off, let’s say ‘rubbish’. We thought it was quite funny until I came offstage and what we didn’t realise is all the bigwigs from Morrisons were in the VIP seats, and I lost the gig that day!”

The trio presented Top Gear together from 2003, when May replaced original Top Gear co-presenter Jason Dawe after the first series, until 2015.

They now front Prime Video’s motoring programme The Grand Tour together, which premiered on the streaming service in 2016 and has run for five seasons so far.

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