The BBC has said it will not resume filming the latest series Top equipment after host Freddie Flintoff was injured in an accident during production – but what details do we know about what happened?
The former cricketer and presenter was flown to hospital on December 13, 2022, after he had an accident while filming a car meeting at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, home of the Top Gear test track.
In April 2023, he was photographed out and about for the first time since the accident, with his injuries obscured by sunglasses. On Friday, September 8, 2023, nine months after the accident, Flintoff’s facial injuries were seen for the first time in a public appearance.
While insiders said at the time that his injuries sustained in the accident were not life-threatening, his 16-year-old son Corey said that the 45-year-old was “lucky to be alive.”
“It was a pretty bad crash,” he said. “It is shocking. We’re all shocked but just hope he’s okay.”
In the accident, Flintoff’s open-top three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car reportedly rolled over and skidded along the track as he was traveling at high speed.
He and a crew member in the passenger seat were wearing helmets, but Flintoff suffered facial injuries and several broken ribs.
It has been reported that Flintoff is leaving the show, which he co-hosts with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.
“Freddie has been severely affected emotionally and physically by the accident,” a source said The times. “He’s a go-getter, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he can continue to play that role on the show.”
In a new statement, the BBC said: “In these circumstances we believe it is inappropriate to continue production of Series 34.”
“We have sincerely apologized to Freddie and will continue to support him in his recovery.
“We understand that [halting the show] will be disappointing for fans but it is the right thing to do and we will make a judgment later this year on how best to move forward.”
Flintoff narrowly avoided serious injury in a previous accident not long after joining the show in 2019, explaining that he “ran out of runway” at Elvington Airfield near York while riding in a special three-wheeled drag -Racing vehicle in competition with his fellow presenters.