TOP Gear star Richard Hammond has further explained why he quit his new Bucks home after three days.

The presenter said he felt his family would stick out like "sore thumbs" at the rented house in Hammersley Lane, Tylers Green, although the change of heart would cost him "a fortune".

The 38-year-old has now returned his family to their previous home, a rented "leaky farmhouse" in Gloucestershire.

Writing in his regular column in the Mirror Hammond said: "I didn't want to change. Why take the people I love most and change them?

"Our life of mud, leaky roofs, mud, farm sales, feed supplies and more mud might not be to everyone's taste but it fits us perfectly."

He said: "We could adapt, I know, and after a few weeks I would arrive home to find Mindy dressed in her housecoat, the dogs groomed, the house immaculate and the girls playing in fairy dresses."

Hammond, who hit headlines when he survived a jet car crash being filmed for the show in 2006, said he moved the family to be closer to his work in London He said the move was "to a very pleasant house in a very pleasant village in a very pleasant part of pleasant Buckinghamshire very close to London".

He said: "The neighbours, cowering behind their immaculate net curtains, must have thought the Waltons were arriving.

"I took one look at my girls, clambering out of their mum's Landie, and realised this was not for us."

"The house was beautiful, the neighbours welcoming, the local town friendly and sophisticated - and we would stick out like four very sore thumbs."

And he confessed "it will cost me a fortune to get out of renting the new house and move back to the old one".

"I will be selling one of my collection of cars to pay for the privilege of learning this lesson" he wrote.