Will Freddie Flintoff return to Top Gear? Former presenter Richard Hammond says he wants to see him back

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Richard Hammond suffered a near-fatal crash filming Top Gear 15 years before Flintoff’s 130 mph accident

Production on the latest season of Top Gear was halted following presenter Freddie Flintoff’s dramatic high speed crash, but former host Richard Hammond says he would like to see the star return when filming gets under way again.

Flintoff was driving an open top Morgan Super 3 three wheeler when he crashed at 130 mph at Dunsfold Park aerodrome - he was not wearing a helmet and the vehicle was not equipped with an airbag. 

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He suffered broken bones, injuries to his jaw, and reported psychological trauma and it has been rumoured that he will not return to host Top Gear alongside Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness, and The Stig when filming does resume, which will likely be in 2024.  

The 45 year old former cricketer was reportedly lucky to be alive following the crash and another BBC series that he was expected to be involved in has also been paused until 2024.

Fellow Top Gear crash veteran Richard Hammond, 53, shared his thoughts on Flintoff’s possible Top Gear return and the fate of daredevil stunts on TV.  

Richard Hammond says he wants to see Freddie Flintoff return to Top GearRichard Hammond says he wants to see Freddie Flintoff return to Top Gear
Richard Hammond says he wants to see Freddie Flintoff return to Top Gear | Getty

What has Richard Hammond said about Freddie Flintoff?

Hammond was a guest on Radio 4’s Today programme with Nick Robinson last week to discuss the Takeshi's Castle reboot, a show which is very similar to the Total Wipeout series that he presented.

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The conversion led on to the topic of Top Gear, a show that Hammond fronted alongside James May and Jeremy Clarkson from 2002-2015. 

Nick asked Hammond if he would like to see Flintoff return to the motoring show following his dramatic crash in December 2022 which brought a sudden halt to filming. Hammond was clear in his response, simply saying “of course, very much.”

Nick then asked if the crash which led to Flintoff’s hospitalisation and rumours that he would leave the show, signalled an end to daredevil stunts on TV, but Hammond wasn’t too sure.

He said: “I doubt it. I think in all television programmes, if you're taking risks you have to mitigate everywhere against those risks. But also we've all got to remember, and occasionally I'm reminded, just because we're on TV doesn't mean we're in some sort of magic protected bubble. Real world things still apply.”

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Freddie Flintoff has presented Top Gear since 2019Freddie Flintoff has presented Top Gear since 2019
Freddie Flintoff has presented Top Gear since 2019 | BBC/Lee Brimble

When did Richard Hammond crash on Top Gear?

Richard Hammond is something of an authority on daredevil stunts and devastating crashes, having been involved in a few himself.

In 2006, whilst filming for season nine of Top Gear, Hammond crashed a Vampire dragster in a stunt in which he attempted to break the land speed record. 

He was estimated to have been travelling at almost 300 mph when one of the dragster’s tires failed, causing the vehicle to lose control and roll over. Hammond was airlifted to hospital and treated for a serious brain injury - he was in a coma for two weeks. Hammond made a full recovery, returning to host Top Gear in 2007. 

However, Hammond was involved in another serious accident just over a decade after the dragster incident. In 2017 whilst filming his new motoring show The Grand Tour, with May and Clarkson, when he crashed a £2 million Rimac supercar in Switzerland. He fractured his knee but climbed out of the vehicle himself before it burst into flames.

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