“I”ve sold the Lamborghini, given up alcohol and cigarettes and got a proper haircut”: Top Gear”s Richard Hammond on his reverse mid-life crisis
Some men will splash out on a very expensive, super-speedy two-seater convertible sports car, hit the Grecian 2000 and possibly start dating a younger woman.
But it would appear that the mid-life crisis has not affected Richard Hammond like it can some men and in fact, the TV presenter is embracing it instead.
The Top Gear host has spoken about hitting his 40s and how much he is loving being in this decade of his life and has actually done the reverse of what a lot of men do.
Embracing middle age: Richard Hammond, seen here with wife Mindy at the Mission Impossible 4 premiere last week, says he is happy to be in his 40s
Speaking to the Mirror, Hammond, who is 42, said: “Right now, I am the happiest I have everbeen in my life. I really think I have had a mid-life crisis. I struggled with being 40, but I probably have never been happier.”
Richard said he has also been selling off his cars, and has traded in his black Lamborghini for a pink camper van.
He said: “Forty is brilliant and I love it. I’m happier now than when I was 20. You take a choice in your 40s. A lot of people do go berserk and by the time you are 50 you’re knackered. How you are in your 40s defines your 50s.
“The mid-life crisis thing, people say itlike it’s a dirty word. I am a man of a certain age and we are all entitled to a mid-life crisis, but I’m over it now.”
Boys and their toys: Richard and his Top Gear co-stars Jeremy Clarkson and James May
He has also cut out alcohol and cigarettes and said: “I did a dry January and I loved it so much it turned into a dry three months. To be honest, I’ve been practically dry ever since.
“I’m not teetotal – occasionally I have a skip load of gin and tonics and fall over. The hangovers are tiny now and I am such a cheap date. I built up quite a tolerance for a chap my size, but that has gone.
“It’s astonishing how much fitter I got, not drinking and watching what you eat. I really enjoyed it. It is not for vanity’s sake. It’s about self-confidence and being able to bounce out of bed.”
Richard, who lives in Herefordshire with his wife of almost ten years, Mindy and their two daughters Izzy, 11, and Willow, eight, knows how lucky he is to have reached his 40s.
The Vampire jet car as it begins its second airborne revolution before landing upside down with Richard Hammond”s head buried in the mud .Top Gear returns for a new series – Lucky to be alive: Richard nearly lost his life in 2006 when he was involved in a crash at 288mph while filming for Top Gear
In September 2006, he was involed in a288mph jet car crash which left him with bruising and swelling to the brain. He lost a year and even to this day, despite making a fantastic recovery, he is still affected by it.
He said: “My approach to 40 was littered with concerns. You ask a lot of questions of yourself but draped across the background of that was, “Have I been affected by what has happened Is my judgment being influenced”"
The accident also changed his attitude to doing the dangerous stunts on Top Gear and says he gets more nervous now and would rather not do it.
He added: “I don’t cope with it as well as I used to, I go into a bit of a tailspin. But I wouldn’t do it if I was worried.
“I’m not reckless. I was never reckless. I speak for all of us on that, we are not reckless, we are all grown up. That would be disrespectful to my wife and daughters. My little girls want to have a daddy round so I wouldn’t risk that.”
Cautious: Richard, seen here leaving hospital after the crash, says he is a lot more nervous about doing dangerous stunts for the show now