The network announced its decision to “rest the UK show.” Former England cricket captain and broadcaster Freddie Flintoff was airlifted to the hospital in December following a high-speed collision at Surrey’s Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, a site regularly featured in the BBC show since 2002.
He had lost control of a motorized trike at 124 mph in a race against co-hosts Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness before, so this wasn’t his first mishap.
The decision was taken after BBC health and safety investigation
The decision to discontinue the automotive program on broadcasts was made in response to the findings of an external health and safety investigation carried out by the BBC; the results of this investigation will remain confidential.
After looking through previous Top Gear seasons, another health and safety evaluation found “important learnings” about the production of the show.
After the incident in 2022, the BBC apologized to Freddie Flintoff and reportedly reached a financial settlement, estimated to be worth around £9 million. It is reported that Flintoff, who has been seen in public with facial injuries, is still recovering from wounds that his legal team has called “life-altering.”
Richard Hammond also sustained injuries
There have been previous cases of presenters on the show suffering from serious health consequences, such as Freddie Flintoff’s recent serious accident.
Former presenter Richard Hammond suffered a serious injury at York’s Elvington airfield in 2006. He had previously worked with Jeremy Clarkson and James May in the 2000s and early 2010s. With the dragster he was operating spinning at 288 mph, Hammond sustained a “serious brain injury,” according to medical professionals.
The incident put Hammond in a two-week coma and happened during his attempt to break the British land speed record with the jet-propelled vehicle.
More about Freddie Flintoff
Freddie Flintoff is a well-known English television and radio host, former cricket player for England, and coach of the national team.
He had a successful career in cricket as a middle-order batsman, fast bowler, and slip fielder. Known as one of the best all-rounders in the world for both Test and One Day International cricket, he was named “Man of the Series” in the 2005 Ashes after making significant contributions for England.
Before quitting Test cricket in 2009 and other forms of the game in 2010, Flintoff captained and vice-capped the team.
Unexpectedly, in 2012, he made a brief foray into professional boxing and emerged victorious against Richard Dawson, an American.
Following a brief hiatus, Flintoff resumed his cricket career, participating in Twenty20 matches for Lancashire and signing on with the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League of Australia for the 2014–15 season.
Following his retirement, he took on several endeavors, such as starting his fashion line, starring for the apparel company Jacamo, and taking home the title of Australian I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, and taking part in the sports-themed comedy panel show A League of Their Own on Sky One.
In 2019, Flintoff started hosting the BBC One automotive series Top Gear, a role he held until an incident that occurred in late 2022.
Numerous television movies and documentaries have examined Flintoff’s career path. He conducted moving interviews about the serious effects of depression with celebrities like Vinnie Jones, Ricky Hatton, Steve Harmison, and others for the BBC One series “Freddie Flintoff: Hidden Side of Sport” in 2012.
During these open discussions, Flintoff opens up about his struggles, which include the difficulties of leading the England cricket team during a time of intense pressure and scrutiny. The show dispels the stigma around talking about depression, particularly in light of the constant scrutiny from the public that athletes endure.