But Clarkson was dropped in 2015 after an altercation with one of the show’s producers and Hammond and May followed him out of the door, saying the trio came “as a package”.
Hammond, who has two daughters with his wife Mindy, said after he’d left he told his girls he didn’t have a job as he wanted them to learn that money has to come from somewhere.
Speaking on the Fuelling Around podcast, he said they took it on board but admitted his daughter Isabella couldn’t resist the chance to poke fun when they were out.
He said: “After we finished the show James had come over to stay with me for a few days. We had gone to Kentucky Fried Chicken to go and get lunch for everyone with Izzy.”
Hammond said when they got to the front of the queue he and May quibbled about who was paying, as they both wanted to be the one to buy lunch.
He went on: “And there was a pause, just when the whole restaurant had gone quiet, and Izzy said, ‘Well technically lads, I should pay as you haven’t got a job between you.’
“And the place detonated with laughter.”
Hammond, who is now on The Grand Tour with Clarkson and May, said his daughter evidently enjoyed the swipe as she did it again when they went to the supermarket.
He said she would ask “very loudly” at the checkout: “Daddy, daddy, so when does your credit card stop working?”
“I’d go, ‘Oh, for God’s sake’ and again a whole store of people were in hysterics,” he admitted.
Watch: Richard Hammond says wife saved his life by screaming in his ear during coma