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Richard Hammond's tea time show

8th February 2008

Top Gear star Richard Hammond is to shoot a pilot for a possible replacement for Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan Channel 4's teatime show later this month.

Hammond's non-broadcast pilot is due to be filmed later this month and is being made by So Television, the independent production company co-founded by Graham Norton and Graham Stuart.

The Hammond show is understood to be the only chatshow format currently being considered as a replacement for Richard & Judy in Channel 4's 5pm weekday slot.

So Television's pilot is believed to be vying with factual entertainment formats for the hour-long slot.

This will be Hammond's second crack at chatshow presenting. In early 2006 he hosted Richard Hammond's Five O'Clock Show for ITV1.

Hammond's hour-long show regularly featured stand-up routines from members of the public and gadgets invented by mothers, as well as tips on money and complaining.

By the end of its six-week run on ITV1, the Five O'Clock Show was watched by 1.5 million people, less than half Paul O'Grady's peak audience of 3.2 million in the same slot before he defected to Channel 4.

Hammond has also presented Sky One's science show Brainiac and a BBC documentary about Evel Knievel, which was filmed just before the stuntman's death in November 2007.

Hammond famously survived his own near-fatal crash in a jet-powered car while filming Top Gear in 2006.

Richard & Judy: bowing out Finnigan and Madeley are due to quit their afternoon show when their contract runs out with Channel 4 this summer.

Richard & Judy has been running on Channel 4 since the pair quit long-running ITV1 show This Morning to join Channel 4 in 2001.


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