Top Gear no more as BBC halts series for “the foreseeable future”

Revived back in 2002, the series has received ongoing backlash since the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in 2015.

Iconic British motoring show, Top Gear, will be shelved for the “foreseeable future” following last year’s crash that seriously injured host Andrew Flintoff, the broadcaster said Tuesday.

The former England cricket captain, nicknamed Freddie, suffered facial injuries in the crash last December, and has only recently been seen again in public.

The BBC announced a pause in production immediately after the crash, saying it would be “inappropriate” to carry on and adding it was holding a health and safety review. It has now shelved the show indefinitely.

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“Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future,” an official statement by the broadcaster read.

The BBC remains committed to Freddie, Chris (Harris) and Paddy (McGuinness) who have been at the heart of the show’s renaissance since 2019, and we’re excited about new projects being developed with each of them”.

“We will have more to say in the near future on this. We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do.”

Lost of control

Back in March, the broadcaster announced it has decided to stop filming of the 34th series after the accident involving Flintoff that took place at the Dunsfold Aerodrome at the end of December.

Despite no details being revealed, subsequent reports from the UK alleged Flintoff lost control of the Morgan Super 3 three-wheeler he had been driving, which then rolled over on the runaway of the former Second World War II base that has housed Top Gear’s track tests since the series returned after a prolonged hiatus in its current format in 2002.

“It was a freak accident and somehow the car flipped over and the two men were dragged along.

“Everyone on the scene was shocked by how serious it was and they were very worried about the two men strapped in,” an unnamed source, who witnessed the accident observed by co-presenter Harris, was quoted by Britain‘s The Mirror as saying.

Downwards spiral

The cancellation of Top Gear comes eight years after the much publicised departure of original hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, after the former’s dismissal for punching associate producer, Oisin Tymon, after a day’s filming.

Although rebooted for the 23th season with motoring journalists Harris and Rory Reid, former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan, Friends star Matt LeBlanc and late racing driver Sabine Schmitz, ensuing criticism followed, most notably at former show guest and radio DJ turned lead presenter, Chris Evans, who received the axe after the series had finished.

Revised again in 2019 with the current trio of presenters following after both LeBlanc and Reid left, backlash still lingered, largely directed at comedian McGuinness and after two prior incidents involving Flintoff on two separate occasions in 2019.

Additional reporting by Charl Bosch

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