Top Gear’s future ‘will be decided imminently’ after Freddie Flintoff was injured in ‘severe’ car accident while filming – with internal health and safety report expected within days
The future of Top Gear will reportedly be decided imminently following Freddie Flintoff’s ‘severe’ car accident.
The former England cricket ace, 45, was airlifted to hospital with facial injuries and broken ribs after a collision at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey on December 13.
Filming on the BBC show has been temporarily suspended as Freddie recuperates from his injuries.
BBC bosses are said to be expecting the results of an internal health and safety investigation in the coming days.
A source told The Sun: ‘The report is imminent. Only when it is finished and examined will a decision be made on whether Top Gear filming can restart.
Decision: The future of Top Gear will reportedly be decided imminently following Freddie Flintoff’s ‘severe’ car accident
‘The show’s future depends on what the report says. It’s as simple as that.’
BBC Studios Health and Safety Team, which is seperate from the Top Gear production team, launched the investigation.
Freddie’s injuries were reportedly more severe because the motor he was in did not have a roof. However, he was wearing a helmet which may have saved his life.
The insider added that the incident was a ‘shock for everyone involved and very serious’.
MailOnline has contacted representatives of the BBC and Freddie Flintoff for comment.
BBC Studios confirmed to MailOnline earlier this month that it won’t make decisions to resume production until the investigation has concluded.
Production insiders told The Sun that studio officials want to give Freddie time to recover from the accident.
Similarly, it is understood many cast and crew members ‘wouldn’t feel comfortable beginning again without Freddie anyway’ because of the ‘integral role’ he plays in the show.
Accident: The former England cricket ace, 45, was airlifted to hospital with facial injuries and broken ribs following a collision at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey in December (picturd with Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness)
Suspended: Filming on the BBC show has been temporarily suspended as Freddie recuperates from his injurie
BBC previously insisted ‘all health and safety procedures’ were followed.
Chris Harris, who presents the show alongside Freddie and Paddy McGuiness, was also at the Top Gear test track.
A review of the accident by the Health and Safety Executive, the government agency, has found no evidence of any serious failings requiring a formal investigation.
The smash comes three years after the ex-cricketer narrowly cheated death following a shock 125mph crash.
In 2019, Freddie was heard screaming ‘I can’t stop,’ as he hurtled head-first down a runway just inches off the ground in a three-wheeled cycle car.
Report: BBC bosses are said to be expecting the results of an internal health and safety investigation in the coming days
He had been racing his co-hosts when he realised he was running out of road and about to overshoot the finish line – seeing him spin off in a cloud of dust.
Freddie walked away from the ‘near-death’ crash unscathed, insisting he was ‘absolutely fine’.
He said at the time: ‘I go to great lengths to make sure I do well in Top Gear drag races but, on this occasion, I went a few lengths too far. It will look more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV.’
Freddie, who was appointed England cricket captain twice, first in 2006 and 2007, retired from the game in 2010, before briefly returning to play for Lancashire four years later.
Following his illustrious sporting career he became a familiar face on television, joining various reality and panel shows and appearing as the face of supermarket brand Morrisons.
A source said: ‘The report is imminent. Only when it is finished and examined will a decision be made on whether Top Gear filming can restart’ (pictured with wife Rachael and children Holly, 18, Corey, 16, and Rocky, 14, in 2014)
In 2010 he became a team captain on Sky’s A League Of Their Own, hosted by James Corden before being crowned king of the jungle in the first series of the Australian version of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2015.
After appearing in the BBC drama Love, Lies and Records in 2017, he went on to make his musical theatre debut in Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends The Musical and hosted All Star Musicals for ITV in December the same year.
He was announced in October 2018, ahead of the show’s 27th series, as a new host of Top Gear alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.
Paddy also cheated death after losing control of a red Lamborghini in the Yorkshire Dales in 2020.
Richard Hammond was left in a coma after a serious crash during filming in September 2006.
The ex-Top Gear presenter crashed a jet-powered Vampire dragster vehicle while travelling at 288mph, and spent five weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries.
Top Gear crashes through the years
Richard Hammond crashes a Vampire Dragster – 2006
Richard was left fighting for his life after crashing the jet-powered car while going at 288 mph as he tested the vehicle at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York. Hammond was completing a seventh and final run in the car when the front-right tyre blew-out and the dragster veered off the runway, rolled over, and Hammond was left with a traumatic head injury and was in a coma for two weeks. In the year following the crash the TV presenter returned to the show and spoke about the crash on the Jonathan Ross Show, but couldn’t remember any of it because of his injuries.
Shocking: Richard was left fighting for his life after crashing the Vampire Dragster while going at 288 mph as he tested the vehicle at the former RAF Elvington airbase
Freddie Flintoff crashes a jet trike – 2019
In September, Freddie revealed he suffered a nasty escape after a high speed crash in a jet trike during filming. The cricket star, 41, insisted he was ‘absolutely fine’ after his jet trike careered off the road during a race at the Elvington Airfield near York. Freddie reportedly careered his high speed trike off the road as he filmed the high-speed race. Crew members rushed to Freddie – who was wearing a full motorcycling suit and helmet for the scenes – but he emerged with barely a scratch.
Close call: In September last year, Freddie revealed he suffered a nasty escape after a high speed crash in a jet trike during filming
Paddy McGuinness’ back axle comes off his Pontiac Firebird – 2020
In the latest series of Top Gear, Paddy embarked on the ‘original’ American Road Trip with Freddie and Chris Harris. He arrived in their start point of Peru with a Pontiac Firebird which didn’t have a roof amongst several other problems. When the trio decided to test out their cars on a straight 1/4 mile stretch of road Paddy’s car only got a few yards before the back end of the axle came apart entirely and he was forced to abandon the car.
In the latest series of Top Gear, Paddy was forced to abandon his Pontiac Firebird after the back end of the axle came apart entirely (pictured)
Jeremy Clarkson flips over his Reliant Robin – 2010
In a now famous segment from Top Gear, former presenter Jeremy flipped over a Reliant Robin multiple times. The motorcar journalist was flipping it over to prove that the three-wheeled car could easily tip over. In his Sunday Times driving column Jeremy revealed that he had actually asked crew to tinker with the car ‘so that the poor little thing rolled over every time I turned the steering wheel’.
Flipping heck: In a now famous segment from Top Gear, former presenter Jeremy Clarkson flipped over a Reliant Robin multiple times (pictured)
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