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[03/08/12 - 11:21 AM]
BBC America Premieres All-New Original Series "Richard Hammond's Crash Course" - Monday, April 16 at 10:00pm ET/PT
In the six-episode series, Hammond is challenged to learn how to operate America's largest and most dangerous vehicles.

[via press release from BBC America]

TOP GEAR'S RICHARD HAMMOND IS CHALLENGED TO TAKE ON AMERICA'S MOST MONSTROUS MACHINES

BBC AMERICA premieres all-new original series Richard Hammond's Crash Course

Richard Hammond, host of the world's biggest car show Top Gear, takes the ultimate driving test in BBC AMERICA's new original series Richard Hammond's Crash Course, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. As he travels across the US, Hammond is challenged to learn how to operate America's largest and most dangerous vehicles. Immersed in some of the country's most extreme environments, he has only days to master these monstrous machines, a task that takes years for most people to achieve. Throughout his journey, Hammond works alongside local experts who operate these machines daily, while getting a true taste of American hospitality. Richard Hammond's Crash Course premieres Monday, April 16 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

As Top Gear enters season 18, Richard Hammond has experienced more than his fair share of international auto-escapades, whizzed along countless race tracks, driven just about every high-powered car and sat pretty in some of the most luxurious vehicles ever made. Now in Richard Hammond's Crash Course, he experiences the world's biggest and toughest vehicles that are made not for show, but to get a job done. Visiting six locations, with just three days in each, he must learn how to handle a variety of complex and dangerous machines. In the end, the experts decide if he has successfully completed each challenge.

The series has Hammond at the helm of a myriad of machines including the US Army's MIA2 Abrams Tank at Fort Bliss, 'The Compactor' (which weighs more than the last 11 Super Bowl championship teams combined) at the Denver Regional Landfill, the world's most powerful fire engine, The Striker, at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and a two ton wrecking ball with the power to tear down a five story building in a matter of seconds in Orlando. Hammond, usually the expert in the driver's seat, finds himself in unusual territory. Not only is he in a foreign land, he is now the student, getting his hands dirty and learning all aspects of the job from the men and women who operate these essential machines.

From completing fitness training with a US Army "Top Tank" crew to shimmying up a tree, despite his fear of heights, while working with the Luoto family for their Oregon logging company - there is no cutting corners on the work sites. Hammond does find time, however, to make some machine-powered high-jinx of mammoth proportions. For instance, while tree harvesting, Richard fashions his own game of darts using the monster-sized Dangle Head Processor to catapult 5,000 lb log-darts into a bullseye on the side of one of his least favorite vehicles - the mini-van.

Richard Hammond's Crash Course is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC AMERICA. Rob Fox is executive producer. Elli Hakami, Jane Tranter and Courtney Conte are executive producers for BBC Worldwide Productions.

BBC AMERICA's Top Gear returns for season 18 with a special two-hour premiere Monday, April 16 at 8:00pm ET/PT, followed by the world premiere of Richard Hammond's Crash Course.

RICHARD HAMMOND

Host

British television presenter and car enthusiast Richard Hammond takes his love of driving off-road in Richard Hammond's Crash Course. Best known as co-host of the world's biggest car show, Top Gear, Hammond's extensive career includes radio and television and covers everything from science and cars to game shows.

Beloved by fans for his quintessential charm and wit, Hammond has appeared in over 50 television projects. Covering cars in the series Petrolheads, Motor Show, Motorweek, Kits n' Cruisin' and Better Cars. He also touched on lifestyle topics in Richard Hammond's 5 O'Clock Show and Livetime. Hammond also has an extensive history in science and technology programming. He was also fortunate to meet his childhood hero in Richard Hammond meets Evel Kneivel.

In addition to presenting, Hammond also has his own production company, Hamster's Wheel, where he develops television programs. Hammond has created his own iPhone application, Hamsters Car Spotter, where players are given the opportunity to be the best car spotter in the world.

Hammond currently resides in the UK, when he isn't traveling the globe.

BBC AMERICA delivers US audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy(R), five Golden Globes(R) and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable's most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 76 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist.

About BBC Worldwide Productions

BBC Worldwide Productions, led by Jane Tranter, is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. The production company is responsible for the smash hit "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC), "Top Gear" (HISTORY), "What Not to Wear" (TLC), "Torchwood: Miracle Day" (Starz), "Hairy Bikers" (HISTORY) and the upcoming titles "The Week the Women Went" (Lifetime), "The Next Big Thing" (Oxygen) and "Da Vinci's Demons" (Starz). BBC Worldwide Productions sits within one of six core businesses that form BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).





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· RICHARD HAMMOND'S CRASH COURSE (BBC AMERICA)
· TOP GEAR (BBC AMERICA)





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