Top Gear to rest for ‘foreseeable future’, says BBC | Ents & Arts News
The BBC will “rest” hit motoring show Top Gear “for the foreseeable future” following a crash that left host Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff seriously injured.
Production of the show has since been halted Flintoff45, was brought to the hospital in December 2022.
In a statement, the BBC said: “Given the extraordinary circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future.
“The BBC remains committed to Freddie, Chris and Paddy, who have been at the heart of the show’s renaissance since 2019, and we are excited about new projects being developed with each of them.
“We’ll have more to say in the near future about this. We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it’s the right thing to do.”
“All other Top Gear activity remains unaffected by this hiatus, including international formats, digital, magazines and licensing.”
Former England cricket captain Flintoff was photographed in public in September for the first time since the crash. Nine months later, his facial injuries were still visible when he joined the England cricket team for their one-day international against New Zealand.
That the accident happened on the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, leaving the sports star with several broken ribs.
Following the crash, the BBC announced it would pause production on the show, presented by Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and motoring journalist Chris Harris, as it was believed it would be “inappropriate” to continue at the time.
In October, the BBC said it had agreed a financial settlement Flintoff, stated to be £9m. worth.
A health and safety production review of Top Gear, covering previous seasons before the accident, found that “while BBC Studios had adhered to required BBC policies and industry best practice in making the show, there were important learnings which would need to be rigorously applied to future Top Gear UK productions”.
The report contained “a number of recommendations to improve approaches to security”.
A separate investigation into the accident was completed in March. These results are not published.
Previous Top Gear breakdowns
The accident was not the first that Flintoff faced during his time on the show. It followed a minor incident in February 2019 when he crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
And in 2006, former presenter Richard Hammond filmed for the show when he crashed a jet-powered dragster called the Vampire at almost 320km/h.
The presenter spent two weeks in a coma following the incident, which took place at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York.
He recovered and returned to the show in early 2007, but revealed in February this year that he fears he has memory loss as a result.
Flintoff and McGuinness joined Harris in 2019, taking over from Chris Evans and Friends star Matt LeBlanc.
The show originally launched in 1977, featuring a series of presenters and reporters for half an hour on BBC Two, which proved popular throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
But its relaunch in 2002 as an hour-long entertainment motoring show, fronted by Jeremy Clarkson, Hammond and James May, made it a worldwide hit.
The UK show is currently sold to more than 150 territories and there are 11 local format versions, including in the US, France and Finland.
This latest news is being updated and more details will be published soon.
Please refresh the page for the full version.