TV presenter Richard Hammond spoke yesterday of the terrifying confusion and agonising pain he experienced after the 300mph jet car crash that nearly killed him.

The Top Gear star revealed that the brain injury caused by the crash left him "obsessed" by Lego, which he claims aided his recovery.

Hammond, aged 36, crashed his Vampire car at 288mph at Elvington airfield, York, while filming for the show on September 20.

In an interview yesterday, he said playing children's games "saved his life" as he battled to recover from the devastating mental effects of his injuries.

Games such as Lego, which he had been obsessed with as a child, and Top Trumps stimulated his brain, he said.

"Lego saved my life. It's really good therapy for a brain injury," he said.

He said his brain injury had made him resort to a childlike state and caused short-term memory loss and disorientation.

"I regressed to a little boy. All my emotions became very childlike, very fragile," he said.

"It was like everybody had messed all the furniture up, nothing was familiar.

"So you try to think about something and it's all strange. Like somebody has ripped my head apart."

The Daily Mirror columnist and married father of two also told of his heartache at seeing his daughter Izzy, six, "terribly upset" after visiting him in hospital.

Hammond said her eyes were full of tears as she left the hospital with her sister Willow, three.

"The lift was next to my ward reception and I'd be stood there, my eyes filling up and people looking at me and all I could do was try to smile," he said.

"But inside I was in bits, knowing my poor little girl was so terribly upset."

He also paid tribute to his wife Mindy, 36, whom he described as "a rock".

He admitted there had been "many, many private breakdowns" as he fought to come to terms with what happened.

"For two weeks, all the time I was in Leeds, I simply didn't believe I had been in a crash."

Hammond is now on course for a full recovery, leaving hospital just five weeks after the high speed crash.

He said he does not know what caused the accident, which happened during a final run at the airfield.

He does remember the immediate aftermath, when he found himself in the car upside down and "inhaling a field".

He said he felt like he had gone "ploughing on his head" and the air ambulance men were amazed he was still breathing.

Hammond described how on the doctors' points system, where 15 is normal and three is flatlining, he was a three.

"It was 50/50 what was going to happen. I may have been dead, I may not have woken up," he said.

After being airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary, medics realised he had suffered a severe brain injury.

Surgeons had considered drilling a "bore hole" into Hammond's head to drain blood from his brain to relieve swelling. He did take morphine for the "excruciating" pain, which he said "hurt like hell".

Hammond is now recovering with his family.