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24 September 2014
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Richard Hammond on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

Richard Hammond and Helen Mirren visit the Ross sofa

Top Gear's death-defying presenter Richard Hammond reveals he forgot he was married in the aftermath of his horrific crash when he makes a return visit to the Ross sofa tonight on BBC One's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.


"I didn't forget Mindy, I fancied her – thank God – I attempted to chat her up."


His wife, who has co-written his new book documenting life before and after the crash, confirms: "He didn't believe we were married! He said you're lovely, but I've got to stop talking to you because I've got to go back to my wife, she's French."


Hammond – who can't remember his interview with Jonathan last year – says he's still very much in recovery: "It was a big event, it's a long old journey. You get to the end of each week and realise you weren't actually better, and it goes on and on.


"Whole periods have just gone. I had a 22-second memory, very confusing for weeks [but] I can daydream now, it's all fixed. It was frightening, a real lesson for me. Damage can mend, it's a big bowl of porridge that revives itself if you're very lucky ... which I was."


And on watching film of the accident: "The doctors wouldn't let me look at it at first ... it tallied with what I remembered. It was harder for Mindy to watch, she completely fell apart ... it did stay with me, it's very private."


Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross


Jonathan also welcomes to the show British theatre royalty, Dame Helen Mirren, in her first interview since her latest Emmy triumph earlier this week, for her role in the last Prime Suspect.


Talking about the extraordinary success of her Oscar-winning performance in The Queen, she says: "I never thought ever that I'd win an Oscar ... I think it's all a bit of a crap shoot ... the whole awards thing is becoming a marketing tool so it doesn't really mean anything. The important thing is survival."


And she had to say no to an invite to the Palace: "I was very graciously invited to dinner which unfortunately I couldn't do. I was filming in South Dakota, couldn't shut production down, so very regretfully I had to say no."


On possibly taking on the role of Margaret Thatcher, Helen Mirren says: "No, I wouldn't play her. I'm not an impersonator. It's a great role, but the difficult thing would be to find a story within her story."


Tonight's line-up also includes Hollywood star Christian Slater, returning to the West End next month.


And there's music from Swedish rockers The Hives performing Tick Tick Boom live in the studio.


Friday Night With Jonathan Ross is a Hotsauce TV production for BBC One.


Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, 10.35pm,
Friday 21 September 2007, BBC One






Category: TV Entertainment; BBC One
Date: 21.09.2007
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