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Alas, hosting an internationally acclaimed reality-based television show is inherently dangerous.

First, we lost our beloved Croc Hunter, lover & champion of exotic animals.

And now we wait to hear if Richard Hammond, lover & champion of exotic cars, will pull through.

If you’ve never heard of Top Gear, don’t feel bad.  It’s a bit of a cult phenomenon & doesn’t actually air in the US anymore.  But episodes abound on the internet for those willing to search.  It’s a bunch of goofy British guys who are crazy about cars – fast cars.  They do all kinds of test driving to compare various cars in various ways.  And they are incredibly entertaining.  The host, Jeremy Clarkson, is at first glance a bit stodgy, but underneath it all, he’s a kid playing with super-expensive toys.  His co-host, Richard Hammond, is an adorable little man, who is unmercifully teased, even though he’s a very capable driver.

Top Gear’s Hammond hurt in jet-car crash

Thursday Sep 21 17:58 AEST
The host of a BBC television show about automobiles was critically injured when the car he was test driving at about 450 kph crashed, the network said. (AAP)

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is in a serious condition after being badly injured when he crashed in a jet-powered car while filming for the BBC television program.

The 36-year-old presenter was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Leeds which has a special neurological unit.

A hospital spokesman later said: “There’s been some improvement overnight but Richard remains in a serious but stable condition”.

He had been filming at a former Royal Air Force base in an attempt to break the British land speed record when the accident happened, several newspapers reported.

Hammond had been driving a jet-powered car capable of reaching 480kph before the accident in northern England.

He had to be cut from the wreckage of the vehicle which had veered off the track and rolled over, the BBC quoted one of the rescuers as saying.

Dave Ogden, one of those involved in the rescue, was reported by the Times newspaper as saying Hammond had been “able to talk to us for a small period” although he was clearly in “quite a lot of distress”.

The Top Gear program, which tests and reviews cars, enjoys cult status and is broadcast to millions of people worldwide on BBC World.

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