Hammond has himself survived a high-speed accident, when he crashed the Vampire Dragster in November 2006 at a speed of over 500km.
In the special Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel airing on January 16, the ‘Hamster’ talk to Knievel about the booze, the drugs, the comas, the 37 broken bones, the reported 2,000 lovers and what it felt like to jump over 13 British Routemaster buses while drunk on Wild Turkey whiskey.
It airs in the UK on Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile SBS also has a Top Gear Polar Special on January 7th.
In a union of kindred spirits, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond travels to meet the man synonymous with daredevilry – Evel Knievel.
A 70s icon who became a legend for repeatedly cheating death in 300 perilous Harley Davidson jumps, Knievel stayed close to an oxygen tank, ingesting 50 pills a day and sucking on lollipops that deliver Fentanyl, a heavy-duty painkiller.
As he prepared for his last years of cheating death, he agreed to be interviewed about his extraordinary, reckless life of excess – the booze, the drugs, the comas, the 37 broken bones, the reported 2,000 lovers and what it felt like to jump over 13 British Routemaster buses while drunk on Wild Turkey whiskey.
Hammond – who shares a genuine passion for stunts and has himself cheated death – journeys across Montana on a Harley to meet Evel Knievel and his son to reflect on a life of hell-raising in an age when stunts weren’t a science or an illusion but a matter of life and death.
Wednesday 16 January – 8.30pm.
The lads are at it again, this time in one of Canada’s northernmost towns, Resolute. The gateway to the Magnetic North Pole, Resolute is considered one of the coldest inhabited places in the world.
In this Top Gear Polar Special, screening on SBS on Monday 7 January at 7:30pm, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take part in one of their most ambitious challenges to date. Starting in Resolute, they will race each other across approximately 650 kilometres of treacherous frozen ocean and fields of giant ice boulders to the Magnetic North Pole.
Jeremy and James team up in this challenge and will attempt to drive to the Magnetic North Pole in a specially ‘polar’ converted ute. If they make it to the finish line alive, it will be the furthest north a car has ever been driven.
Richard takes a more traditional mode of transport and partners with Matty McNair, an experienced Polar explorer, on a sled pulled by a team of 10 Canadian Inuit dogs.
Before they can begin their Artic expedition, they must first prepare for the harsh climate at a weather training camp in the Austrian Alps. Armed with a team of Polar and survival experts, the boys learn how to survive in the minus 36 degree temperature. They are also warned against the affects of the extreme cold weather on their friendship, shown what would happen if a part of their body gets frozen and are strongly advised to take both a gun and shovel when nature calls. The Artic is after all the home to over 60 percent of the global polar bear population.
After being told that they could quite possibly die in their latest challenge, the team set off for Canada undeterred.
With no road rules or traffic police in the Artic, dog power is pitted against horse power as they race in 24 hour sunlight across the unforgiving and unpredictable Artic terrain.
This epic Top Gear Polar Special promises to give fans more action-packed, and often hilarious, drama than they bargained for.
Monday 7 Jan 7:30pm.