Richard Hammond's Workshop is back for a new series and will be following the presenter's progress as he gets to grips with the classic car restoration business that he set up over a year ago.
Richard Hammond's Workshop season 1, which aired in 2021, showed The Grand Tour presenter fulfilling a lifelong ambition of starting his restoration and repair workshop, The Smallest Cog, near his home in Herefordshire.
Striving to learn the business from the ground up, Richard teamed up with car 'wonder-family' Neil, Anthony and Andrew Greenhouse.
However, a year into trading and Richard is starting to fret when the company is still not turning a profit.
Here in an exclusive interview with Richard, we tell you everything you need to know about the new series which gives an insight into the trials and tribulations facing the former Top Gear presenter as well as providing a peek into his family life with wife Mindy and their teenage daughters, Izzy and Willow...
Richard Hammond's Workshop — release date
The new series will air on Monday, October 17 on Discovery + with ten hour-long episodes to follow.
Richard Hammond's Workshop — what happens in the series?
The all-new episodes will see the team get a crash course in racing, see Richard's wife, Mindy, investigate her husband's business management skills and also follow Richard as he tries to impress prospective clients at a high-end car event.
Meanwhile, the dad-of-two will be taking on one of his biggest challenges yet as he tries to teach his younger daughter, Willow, how to drive.
Richard Hammond's Workshop — what does Richard get up to in the opening episode?
The first episode of the new series sees Richard having to deal with some unwelcome furry guests in his workshop (earning him a ticking off from his wife Mindy), taking a trip to the Lake District to see his best mate, Les, and throwing himself into the classic car rally, the Herefordshire Trials, where things get very muddy... and a little bit stuck.
Read our exclusive interview with Richard here...
What were your preconceptions before starting the business and how would you say things are panning out?
Richard Hammond: "I had this idea that it was all going to be idyllic, that I'd have a nice little workshop and I'd be able to go in and roll my sleeves up and learn how to paint cars and how to do all the real craftwork just like my grandfather used to do. That's one of the reasons I started it, my grandfather was a coach-builder.
"However, I quickly discovered that the business side of it tends to take over and trying to make it work is really, really hard!"
"I'm not a business person it transpires. I'm a television presenter so it’s been quite a lot of effort and one heck of a big learning curve. I wish I'd known beforehand that it would be one bottomless pit of money! "
What was your wife Mindy's reaction when you first said you were going ahead with the new enterprise?
"I think she supported the concept but she also knows me well enough to know I probably wouldn't be able to carry it off as smoothly as the idea can be delivered! She steps in throughout the series, which of course means she steps in in reality too because this series is real life, it's what's actually happening in our day-to-day life."
In the first episode we see you going to the Lake District where you meet your friend Les. What's special about that part of the world to you?
"Buttermere is my favourite place in the world. I first went there when I was 17 to do a walk on my own with my dog. I stayed in Sykes Farm Campsite and one day I was sitting in the Bridge Hotel beer garden having one pint of beer because that’s all I could afford. A sheep broke into the garden and my sheep dog immediately hid under the bench which made everyone laugh. That's when I got chatting to Les and we’ve been best friends ever since. Buttermere is sort of my spiritual home."
What is the biggest adrenaline rush you experience during this new series?
"Well I mean it’s not The Grand Tour — I'm not going to be driving down mountains or anything, the adrenaline rush is in trying to make the business work and realizing 'Oh God, I’ve got to find more money to put in it!'. There's lots of stuff happening though, we do some vintage car trialing and later on in the series I decide to launch a race team because I think it will be a good way of getting attention to the workshop. You’ll see how that goes! It takes the odd unexpected twist and turn along the way."
And we're also going to see you teach your daughter Willow to drive. Was that quite a challenge?
"I'm not sure how much I taught her in the end. She’s a perfectly competent driver but I don't know how much I had to add to the experience. Neither of my daughters will listen to me! It's funny, I've done all the driving in the world but as far as they’re concerned I’m just dad and what do I know. And to be fair, with my record, they're probably right. (Richard had more than his fair share of crashes during his Top Gear days). My top tip on teaching a teenager to drive is get a driving instructor."
What are your memories of taking your own driving test and did you pass first time?
"No, I failed first time. I learnt in my dad's Astra and took the test in Harrogate, North Yorkshire where I was living. The examiner was very fierce and I was scared of her. We approached a light just as it had gone amber and she said, ‘Proceed as you normally would’ so I thought, ‘Right, I’ll give it a boot-full then’ and she failed me which was fair enough. I passed the second time round."
What's been your favourite car to come through your workshop doors so far?
"My friend Les’s Riley is kind of exciting and the Alva that we've been working for a long time is thrilling. We've got a lovely Porsche in at the moment too but it’s the stories as much as the cars that are special. For example there’s an old Tuk Tuk that somebody brought back from Sri Lanka and we got that going again so that he could take his lad to school in it."
Will we be seeing your Grand Tour co-presenters James May and Jeremy Clarkson paying a visit to your workshop?
"No. They don't really like old cars. James certainly doesn't and Jeremy's not keen either. James did come round for a visit and brought his bike to the workshop but that was all off-camera."
Richard Hammond's Workshop airs from Monday, October 17 on Discovery +
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Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.
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