Hammond hysteria

TELEVISION presenter Richard Hammond s crash last week caused mass hysteria among critics of Top Gear, who quickly dusted down their soapboxes and shouted that the show should be banned and TV personalities should not take risks in the name of entertainme

TELEVISION presenter Richard Hammond's crash last week caused mass hysteria among critics of Top Gear, who quickly dusted down their soapboxes and shouted that the show should be banned and TV personalities should not take risks in the name of entertainment.

We live on an island suffocated in cotton wool - where in Sheffield in 2003 a junior football league banned the reporting of any games that finished higher than 14-0 so as not to upset the children - so it is great to know that there are still people out there who are prepared to take risks to entertain others.

Last week we published a picture of Richard with 18-year-old fan Emma Campbell in Ashwell which we received and put on a page late on Wednesday. Hours later, of course, we heard about his dreadful accident.

I would like to think that had we known about his accident earlier we would have still have seriously considered running the picture. After all, it is a great picture of a celebrity meeting one of his many fans in a village not often in the news. Of course the reason he is a celebrity is that he often puts his life on the line.


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As for entertainers putting their lives at risk, comedian Harold Lloyd hung from a clock face during the film Safety Last in 1923 - four years before the BBC became a state-owned but independent corporation.

Entertainers have always put themselves on the line and should continue to do so. That is one of the things that make them stand out from the rest of us.

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