Top Gear: BBC to 'rest' hit show after crash involving host Freddie Flintoff left him seriously injured
The BBC flagship motoring magazine show Top Gear will be rested for the "foreseeable future" after host Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff was seriously injured in a crash on the show's test track last year.
Production on the show was halted after the accident involving Flintoff in December 2022. The BBC said at the time that it would be "inappropriate" to continue production with fellow hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. In a statement, the corporation confirmed that the show would remain shelved indefinitely.
The statement read: “Given the exceptional 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’re excited about new projects being developed with each of them.
“We will have more to say in the near future on this. We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do. All other Top Gear activity remains unaffected by this hiatus including international formats, digital, magazines and licensing.”
BBC Studios, which produces the show, added that a health and safety review for the show looked at the season prior to Flintoff's accident. The accident itself was reviewed in its own separate investigation. The report found that “while BBC Studios had complied with the 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.”
A statement added: “The report includes a number of recommendations to improve approaches to safety as Top Gear is a complex programme-making environment routinely navigating tight filming schedules and ambitious editorial expectations – challenges often experienced by long-running shows with an established on and off screen team. Learnings included a detailed action plan involving changes in the ways of working, such as increased clarity on roles and responsibilities and better communication between teams for any future Top Gear production.”
Flintoff was recently pictured for the first time since his accident, from which he was airlifted to hospital. The former cricketer was seen joining the England Cricket Team for a one-day international series against New Zealand, with images clearly showing the injuries he sustained on his face.