BBC Stops ‘Top Gear’ Production After Host Crashes
The BBC, producers of the “Top Gear” show, have halted production after host Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff crashed a Morgan three-wheel car. The accident happened in December, and the host has yet to recover after the Morgan rolled over at the Dunsfold Aerodrome track in Surrey, England, during filming. He received serious injuries in the high-speed crash.
How bad are the “Top Gear” host’s injuries?
Flintoff’s injuries include facial fractures and broken ribs. Rumors suggest that he is considering leaving the show. The 45-year-old host joined the show in 2019 after a successful career as a professional cricket captain. Just after the accident, his 16-year-old son told the Daily Mail his father was “lucky to be alive.”
The news today of the BBC halting production now leaves the “Top Gear” show in limbo for the time being. It had been conducting an internal investigation of the crash. “We sincerely apologize to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery,” the BBC said in a statement.
Has Flintoff crashed filming “Top Gear” before?
“We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do,” it says. “We’ll make a judgment about how best to continue later this year.” So the indication is that renewed filming of the car show may not happen for some time. “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34.”
Flintoff started with “Top Gear” after Matt LeBlanc left and Rory Reid left to do “Extra Gear.” His cohosts are Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness. This is the second crash involving Flintoff while filming the show.
In 2019, he was involved in a crash in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, but was not injured. “I go to great lengths to make sure I do well in ‘Top Gear’ drag races but on this occasion, I went a few lengths too far,” he said. “It will look more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV”.
Is this the end for “Top Gear?”
Then later that year, the father of four children was filming at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, when he crashed in a drag race. He was uninjured in this car accident. And while racing bobsleighs last year in Norway, he crashed but again, had no injuries.
“Top Gear” is a successful money maker for the BBC, due mostly to selling export rights to other countries. It also capitalizes on that success with lots of merch and a printed magazine. So it is doubtful this is the last we will see of the show.
A source told the BBC, “Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash.” Flintoff played 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals, and seven T20s for England. He retired from cricket in 2009, switching to professional boxing for a year after.