Richard Hammond refuses to discuss Top Gear 'fracas': 'Every single party involved learnt'

The presenter says he is 'so reluctant to go there'

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The Independent Online

Richard Hammond has refused to discuss the Top Gear scandal that was followed by him leaving the popular motoring show, claiming everyone involved had learnt from the experience.

Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May all reacted to the decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract over a ‘fracas’ involving a BBC producer and a cold-meat platter individually at the time. 

The 45-year-old said he was “gutted “ by Clarkson’s sacking after an “incredible ride” shortly after the news broke, insisting: “We’re all three of us idiots in our different ways.”

But Hammond, who along with his former Top Gear hosts has recently signed a lucrative contract with Amazon Prime for a new motoring show, was hesitant to discuss the moment he heard Clarkson had assaulted Oisin Tymon with The Times.

“Listen, I’m so reluctant to go there,” he said. “Let’s move on. Every single party involved learnt, and I’m not going to rattle anybody’s chains. […] I can’t give you a sort of, ‘I was here when I heard’. We’ve now reached a point where all parties can move on.

“I can’t be drawn on that, honestly. I’m reluctant, genuinely. I’ve worked for the BBC for 28 years, on and off, and I don’t want to get in the way. The BBC will do what it’s going to do. We’ll do what we’re going to do.”

When accused of trying to gloss over the subject with a macho air, he said he was only apprehensive about discussing an issue that involves “a lot of other people [and] a lot of other parties”.

“I don’t want to say anything that is misinterpreted by anyone around us," he added. 

However, he did say the protracted affair had brought the trio closer: “We’re on the best footing we’ve ever been to go ahead now and do what we do best.”