Top Gear's Richard Hammond admits to being bullied at school

The pint-sized presenter may accept the "Hamster" nickname given to him by Jeremy Clarkson, but he wasn't so jovial about the jibes when he was at school.

The 5ft 7in petrolhead revealed to The Sun: "I didn't enjoy school.

"I've never thought of myself as having been bullied but lately I've been thinking maybe I was for being short."

But rather than stand up to his tormentors, Hammond said he would "deny it, say it was all just fun".

He added: "I was the older brother and it didn't do to be picked on by anyone, so I think I tried to get in first, and that made me a very angry person."

Hammond studied at Solihull School, West Midlands, then Ripon Grammar in North Yorks before moving into a career in radio.

But the presenter's stature didn't stop him from auditioning for Top Gear, which he joined in 2002, where almost instantly co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May dubbed him "The Hamster".

The nickname doesn't seem to bother the petite presenter too much as his own website is called The Hamster's Cage and it was created by Hamster's Wheel Productions - Hammond's production company.

Being short has its upsides, though; as Hammond was voted the second sexiest short man in the world in 2010, only beaten by Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise.

The poll surveyed 2,000 women who considered the tiny star "sexier" than Lewis Hamilton and Jamie Cullum.