Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions — air date, episode guide and all about the madcap engineering series

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions on Channel 4 sees some amazing creations and designs.
Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions on Channel 4 sees some amazing creations and designs. (Image credit: Channel 4)

In Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions on Channel 4, teams of amateur engineers try to build the most bonkers, complicated chain reaction mechanisms to cater to Richard’s every whim. Admittedly a busy man, the Top Gear and The Grand Tour presenter says that life is all about the big questions, such as ‘why can’t I feed the dog while relaxing in the garden?’ and ‘what’s stopping me from cooking my sausages while writing my memoirs?’

So the competitors must design ways to help him do exactly that. “It’s a knockout tournament where teams of amateur engineers compete to perform my ordinary chores in extraordinary ways,” explains Richard. “There’s some serious engineering afoot. I actually tried to build my own chain reaction machine during lockdown and it didn’t go well. That made me appreciate the talent, creativity and determination shown by our teams. That said, in among the triumphs, there were also plenty of spectacular failures and catastrophes.” 

Here’s everything you need to know about Channel 4's crazy new seven-part series Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions…

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions release date

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions is a seven-part science series that starts on Channel 4 on Friday, April 29 at 8 pm. It will also become available on streaming service All4.

What happens in Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions and our episode guide

In each episode of Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions two teams of engineers compete to design the most outrageous chain reaction machine to fulfill a task set by Richard. 

Each team will work from a purpose-built set designed to replicate Richard’s grand ‘home’ and has a workshop full of everyday objects they must use to put together a complicated chain of events that will complete the task. The teams have just three days to make their contraptions and will be judged by Zach Umperovitch, the world’s leading authority on chain reaction machines. And each day they will be challenged to incorporate a new scientific principle or mystery object into their build. 

Luckily Dr Shini Somara is on hand to talk us novices through the science behind the complex projects. The winning team will head to the semi-finals and then the final to see who will be crowned the chain reaction champion.

Episode 1: Friday April 29
In the first episode, we meet a team from Loughborough University and a trio of brothers who design bespoke engineering projects, all determined to create the most ingenious contraptions possible. They must work out a way to allow Richard to make his bed without having to interrupt his morning soak in the bath. 

Richard Hammond flanked by Zach and Dr Shini.

Richard Hammond flanked by Zach Umperovitch and Dr Shini Somara. (Image credit: Channel 4)

More about Richard Hammond 

Richard Hammond is best known for co-hosting Top Gear, alongside James May and Jeremy Clarkson. He started off in the show in 2002 and in September 2006 was seriously injured when the jet car he was driving overturned. He suffered a brain injury but once he left hospital was able to return to presenting. The trio fronted new series The Grand Tour, which began in 2016 and Richard has also presented numerous science-based shows such as The Great Escapists, alongside Tory Belluci, Richard Hammond’s Workshop, Brainiac: Science Abuse and Richard Hammond’s Big! He’s also presented Crufts, Planet Earth Live and Total Wipeout.   

Is there a trailer for Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions? 

No and it’s unlikely Channel 4 will release a trailer for Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions. But, trust us, it’s worth tuning in to see the ingenious chain reaction machines the budding engineers dream up!

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.