The Mail on Sunday newspaper reports that Top Gear, in all likelihood, will not return to screens following a near-fatal crash involving one of its star presenters, Freddie Flintoff. Following the show being put “on hold” in March, the paper claims that the hit show’s production team has been dismantled.
This follows the departure of two key senior creatives from the team – editorial director Clare Pizey and development producer Chris Payne.
The newspaper reports that BBC sources have confirmed there are no plans to develop a fresh series, and plans to broadcast the most recent series 34 have been shelved.
Former England cricketing hero Flintoff received serious injuries to his face and ribs in a car accident back in December 2022. Although Flintoff returned to public life a fortnight ago – photographed practising with the English cricket team – his injuries remained visible, and questions about the BBC’s liability for the accident and duty of care to Flintoff – including whether he was wearing a helmet at the time of impact, and whether a stretcher was available to help him immediately afterwards – remain unanswered.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Flintoff has cooperated with the BBC on two separate reviews into the accident and wider production issues.
The BBC has announced that the popular sporting star turned presenter will make a second series of Field Of Dreams, in which he mentors under-privileged Lancashire youngsters to turn them into cricketers, but no other projects are scheduled.
One of the BBC’s most successful ever shows both at home and abroad, Top Gear has gone through many incarnations since its debut in 1977. Its most popular chapter came with hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. This came to an end in 2015 after Clarkson’s departure due to an altercation with a producer behind the scenes – the trio later signed lucrative contracts with Amazon Video to host The Grand Tour, which has become one of the streamer’s biggest shows as well.