Wild Weather with Richard Hammond, BBC - TV review


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The Independent Culture

The winds of change are blowing through the property market, but it’s the actual wind that Richard Hammond is interested in. His new three-part series, Wild Weather with Richard Hammond, began with a trip to Mount Washington in the US state of New Hampshire where wind speeds regularly reach 85mph. That’s strong enough to blow away a garden shed. Or “refreshingly breezy”, if you’re a north London estate agent.

Hammond did have one ingenious party trick to share here. He stood with his back to the wind and instructed us on how the movement of the clouds can be used to predict changes in the weather. For the most part though, like his previous BBC1 science programmes, this was an excuse to try out cool machines and say macho things like, “Turn the stabiliser off! Go in raw!”

He re-created the spectacular fire whirl phenomenon in Nannup, Western Australia, and made a terrible mess at the WindEEE Research Institute in Ontario, Canada. For me, though, the Top Gear presenter lost any claim to daredevil status, when he turned down an opportunity to ride straight into the eye of a tornado in some guy’s home-made “Dominator” truck. He preferred to sit the action out from the comfort of the voiceover booth.

The unspoken truth? In the current climate, a stroll in sunny Argentina would be far more dangerous than any of these wild weather stunts.