Is Top Gear cancelled? Freddie Flintoff injury throws show into doubt

Former England captain Freddie Flintoff in his first public appearance since his crash (Joe Giddens / PA)
Former England captain Freddie Flintoff in his first public appearance since his crash (Joe Giddens / PA)

Freddie Flintoff was airlifted to hospital on December 13, 2022, after his open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 car flipped and slid along the track when he was driving at high speed while filming Top Gear. This resulted in Flintoff suffering facial injuries and broken ribs.

One source who was present at the incident said: “The scenes were awful, something you would truly want to unsee. The idea of returning to do that kind of work again for some people is just too much.

“It has been a terribly hard time for everyone involved in the crash. Some are still struggling with it so have been signed off work.”

Filming of the show was halted and has not restarted since. In March, the BBC said they would not resume filming Top Gear.

An insider told The Times in March: “Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash. He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.”

Nine months later, Flintoff is still recovering from the crash. He has since quit Top Gear and several members of the crew who witnessed the accident were signed off sick indefinitely as a result of PTSD.

This is not the first incident Flintoff has been involved in since joining Top Gear. In 2019, he crashed at 125mph while travelling in a three-wheeled cycle car, but managed to walk away from the scene.

It was also announced in August that editorial director Clare Pizey is due to leave, casting more uncertainty over the future of the show.

Is Top Gear cancelled?

The BBC is yet to make a decision on the show’s prospective return.

“Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time,” a BBC spokesperson said. “We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year.”

How long has Freddit Flintoff presented Top Gear, and who are the current hosts?

Freddie Flintoff has presented the show since October 2018 alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. They replaced both Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid, while Sabine Schmitz continued her recurring presenting role.

Who previously presented Top Gear?

In total, there have been 13 presenters of the show:

  • Jeremy Clarkson, 2002–2015

  • Jason Dawe, 2002

  • Richard Hammond, 2002–2015

  • The Stig, 2002–present

  • James May, 2003–2015

  • Chris Evans, 2016

  • Matt LeBlanc, 2016–2019

  • Sabine Schmitz, 2016–2020

  • Eddie Jordan, 2016–2018

  • Chris Harris, 2016–present

  • Rory Reid, 2016–2019

  • Freddie Flintoff, 2019–present

  • Paddy McGuinness, 2019–present