Obviously it's a play on his last name, but there's a bit more to it than that.
Richard Hammond. You know him, you probably love him, and you’re almost certainly aware that his nickname is the Hamster. Hammond, Hamster ... the connection is obvious but you probably don’t know the circumstances of how the nickname actually came to life. You also may not know Zog Ziegler, a rather prominent motoring journalist in the UK. A new Drivetribe video from Hammond explains how his notorious nickname and Ziegler are forever linked.
The short clip also explains how Hammond got started in the exciting world of automotive journalism, with credit going to Ziegler. A young Hammond was working at a radio station in the early 1990s and befriended Ziegler, who was already well into the motoring scene. Simply put, Hammond thought it was a neat gig to talk about cars and with some encouragement from Ziegler, that’s what he did. Well done, chaps.
As for Hammond’s nickname, that came about a bit later and actually, it wasn’t even directed at him specifically. When Hammond and his wife were expecting their first child, Ziegler proclaimed they were having “a little Hamster.” So really, Hammond’s oldest daughter is the true Hamster. But yeah, that’s just a technicality.
In the clip, Hammond goes on to explain how he’s not entirely fond of that nickname. We get it – hamster may not sound as prestigious as wolf or eagle, but with at least one Motor1.com journalist gloriously burdened with being the same height as Hammond, trust us when we say there are worse nicknames out there. Yes, your humble author knows a thing or two about unflattering short jokes, But he also fits very comfortably in a Mazda MX-5, Honda S2000, and a 1957 Ford Thunderbird. So there.
The Hamster will soon return to the digital halls of Amazon Prime with James May and Jeremy Clarkson in a new Grand Tour special, where the infamous motoring trio will trade wheels for hulls and attempt a boating adventure. The Grand Tour season four “Seamen” special begins streaming on 13 December.