By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Richard Hammond is to present a new Channel 4 series which will see engineering enthusiasts battle it out to create the most ingenious contraptions using only everyday objects.
In the seven-part series, titled Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions, teams will go head-to-head to build their own chain reaction machines – mechanisms made from everyday materials that complete basic domestic tasks in the most complicated way possible.
The show will also use the builds to “explore fundamental science and engineering principles required in a fun, engaging and open manner”.
Contestants will be given the challenge each week of designing, creating and showcasing a new construction in four days.
They will also receive support from Zach Umperovitch, a world-leading authority on chain reaction machines, who will explain the scientific principles involved.
The teams will be judged based on their ingenuity, design and build quality as they fight to be crowned champion at the end of the series.
Hammond said: “As soon as the idea was explained to me, I was hooked. I actually tried to build my own chain reaction machine during lockdown – it didn’t end well!
“My failed attempt did however make me appreciate the talent, creativity and determination shown by our teams.
“That said, in amongst the triumphs, there were also plenty of spectacular failures and catastrophes.
“I’m convinced the series will be a great watch for all the family, not only providing totally left-field entertainment, but also presenting science and engineering in a fun and accessible manner.”
The 52-year-old has presented many shows during his career including co-hosting BBC Two’s Top Gear and Amazon Studios’ The Grand Tour with Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
The show’s executive producer, Dom Bowles, said: “We were blown away by the teams’ enthusiasm, creativity and ability as they produced machines that sometimes left us speechless.
“With his love of all things mechanical, Richard Hammond was the natural choice as host. Richard threw himself wholeheartedly into the project, enjoying a fantastic rapport with both the teams and our onscreen expert Zach Umperovitch.
“I just hope viewers enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Channel 4 commissioning editor Jonah Weston noted that it would be a science programme “like no other” as it would emphasise “real ingenuity” and “technical prowess”.
He added: “Chain reaction machines have swept social media by storm, and Crazy Contraptions provides contestants with the unique experience of being able to showcase their own inventiveness and engineering skill in a fun and creative environment.”