‘Top Gear’ Halted After Andrew Flintoff Crash

The BBC has halted filming on season 34 of “Top Gear” after presenter Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was involved in an accident on the show’s test track in December 2022.

“BBC Studios has concluded its investigation into the accident at the ‘Top Gear’ test track in Surrey last December, which regrettably injured presenter Freddie Flintoff. We have sincerely apologized to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery,” the BBC said in a statement provided to Variety.

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“Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of ‘Top Gear’ at this time. We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year. This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support. Finally, there will be a health and safety review of the show, in line with our procedures,” the statement added.

Flintoff, who has been a presenter on the show since 2019, alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, was involved in a crash at the “Top Gear” test track at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey last December. He received medical care there before being taken to hospital.

He is no stranger to crashes, featuring in two in 2019 – at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire. He was unharmed on both occasions.

The U.K.’s Times newspaper reported that Flintoff is quitting the show. “Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash,” the Times said, quoting a source. “He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.”

Flintoff was a talismanic cricketer who captained the England men’s cricket team and was instrumental in fashioning several triumphs. After his retirement, he has enjoyed a successful media career, producing a BBC documentary titled “Freddie Flintoff: Hidden Side of Sport” about his and other sports stars’ suffering from clinical depression; being a judge on the ITV talent show “Let’s Get Gold”; winning the first series of the Australian version of “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”; and participating in Sky’s sports-based comedy panel show “A League of Their Own” before taking up a presenter role on the BBC’s hugely successful automobile based magazine show “Top Gear.”

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