Top Gear star Richard Hammond took devotion to the show's followers to new lengths on Tuesday. The presenter persuaded doctors to delay a crucial operation by two hours, so he could honour a commitment to have lunch with fans.
Richard had been due to meet the winners of a competition over lunch at upmarket celebrity hangout The Ivy restaurant in London. Unfortunately the evening before the 38-year-old experienced stomach pains. On going to the doctor he was told he'd need his appendix removing immediately.
Aware that one of the competition winners had cancelled a holiday to meet him, Richard soldiered on stoically with the appointment.
"He couldn't eat anything because the operation was a few hours afterwards," a friend told the Mirror newspaper. "After the meal they said their goodbyes and Richard checked into hospital."
The TV star – who two years ago suffered a high-speed crash while filming Top Gear - said afterwards the pain wasn't "too bad" and compared the operation to having a tooth out. Amazingly he'll have to go back to hospital next week as during the procedure surgeons found he also has kidney stones and a hernia.