The upcoming season of Top Gear has been put on hold by BBC Studios after host Freddie Flintoff was injured while shooting.
In December, the cricket star was rushed to the hospital after a serious collision at the Surrey-based Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, which serves as Top Gear‘s test track.
According to reports, Flintoff, who joined Top Gear in 2019, was operating an open-topped, 3-wheel Morgan Super 3 when it overturned and skidded across the circuit.
Although they were wearing helmets, both Flintoff and the crew member in the passenger seat were still seriously injured in the crash.
Flintoff’s son, Corey, claimed his father was “lucky to be alive” after being treated for shattered ribs and facial injuries.
According to the BBC: “crew medics [attended] the scene immediately,” and said it would “confirm more details in due course.”
After conducting an inquiry into the situation, BBC Studios issued a statement today (March 24) apologising to Flintoff for the course of events.
“[We] will continue to support him with his recovery,” they said.
This came after the BBC announced that Flintoffs injuries were minimal and that the crash didn’t occur at a high speed.
However, contrary to that, in a statement to the Mail Online, Corey described the incident as “pretty nasty,” adding: “It is shocking. We are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.”
The BBC later released a statement saying “’under the circumstances,” it is “inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time.”
There has been no word on a possible resume date for the show, and the BBC added: “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. This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support.
“Finally, there will be a health and safety review of the show, in line with our procedures.”
After hearing the news, dozens took to social media to share their thoughts, with one writing: “I’m not surprised, I could tell from the first time I saw Flintoff on Top Gear that he was an accident in waiting. His carefree attitude to danger was one I thought would eventually affect him and the program.”
While another said: “Hope alls well with Freddie, I used to love watching Clarkson, Hammond,& May but, this trio certainly raise a smile, I really hope Freddie is back and ready to resume filming soon.”
“I like the current Top Gear lineup personally, banter seems organic and less scripted than the originals. Paddy gets on my nerves a bit but would be gutted if they stopped making it. Hope Freddie gets sorted,” a third wrote.
Another echoed: “Flintoff has had too many incidents on track. All the spin outs he’s had and all the minor accidents he’s had starting with that hearse he rolled with Paddie and Harris in the car should have been a clear indicator that something serious would happen eventually. Should’ve just stuck to Harris doing all the extreme driving.”
What do you think?