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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Sammy Gecsoyler

BBC denies report decision has been made to axe Top Gear

Andrew Flintoff with scars on his face.
Top Gear’s presenter Andrew Flintoff appears in public last month for the first since he was injured in a crash in December. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock

The BBC has denied Top Gear has reached the end of the road amid reports the show had been axed.

The Sun reported on Friday that the broadcaster had told production staff on the long-running show to look for other work after the presenter and former cricketer Andrew Flintoff was injured during filming last December.

A BBC spokesperson told PA Media: “A decision on the timing of future Top Gear shows will be made in due course with BBC Content.”

Flintoff was taken to hospital by air ambulance last December after a high-speed crash during filming. He was taking part in a shoot at Dunsfold Park aerodrome in Surrey on Tuesday, which has featured regularly in the BBC show since 2002.

Flintoff was seen in public for the first time since the incident last month, when he attended the one-day cricket international between England and New Zealand at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. He had visible scars on his face and tape on his nose.

He spoke publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday in a clip released by England Cricket on social media.

In the video, in which he awarded an England cap to the spin bowler Tom Hartley, Flintoff said: “It gives me so much pleasure to share what is going to be a day Tom that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.”

He told Hartley the England Cricket team “would share the good times with you, the successes. But as I found over the past few months, they’ll be there in the hardest times of your life, they will stand next to you”.

The BBC said in March that it would not resume filming the latest series of Top Gear and added there would be a health and safety review on the motoring show, which has been running in its current iteration for 21 years.

The incident last year was not Flintoff’s first accident while filming the show. He crashed at 125mph while travelling in a three-wheeled cycle car in 2019, but was able to walk away from the scene.

The former presenter Richard Hammond spent two weeks in a coma in 2006 after crashing at the Elvington airfield in York in a jet-powered Vampire dragster while travelling at 288mph.

Flintoff’s son Corey said at the time he was “lucky to be alive” and described it as a “pretty nasty crash”.

Flintoff began presenting Top Gear in 2019.

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