BBC confirmed today that the hit automotive series Top Gear will not be back for the “foreseeable future” following presenter Freddie Flintoff’s high-speed crash at Dunsfold Aerodrome last year.
The series is being shelved after 46 years, much to the disappointment of long-time fans. While filming the 34th season of the show at the Top Gear test track in December of 2022, Flintoff was involved in an accident and suffered “life-altering significant” injuries.
Production shut down while the BBC conducted a safety investigation in which it discovered “important learnings” and a number of undisclosed recommendations it will apply to future production of Top Gear.
“We’ve agreed with BBC Content that given the exceptional circumstances, we will be resting production of the Top Gear UK show for the foreseeable future,” said the BBC in a statement posted on its website earlier today. “We’ll continue to support the program’s core production team and will be leaning on their expertise in a broader production capacity until such time as the UK show can restart.”
Since the accident, several producers have quit the show. The BBC said that all other Top Gear activity will be unaffected by the pause, including international formats, digital, magazines, and licensing.
“The Top Gear brand remains incredibly popular in the UK and globally,” said the BBC. “We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do.”
Flintoff joined Top Gear in 2019 along with co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. He’s not the first host involved in a serious accident while working on set. Former host Richard Hammond spent two weeks in a coma after he was severely injured at York’s Elvington Airfield while driving a jet-propelled dragster 288 mph in 2006 in an attempt to break the British land speed record.
The BBC said it “remains committed to Freddie, Chris, and Paddy” and is excited about new projects in development.
“We will have more to say in the near future,” said the BBC.
Image credit: Top Gear