The BBC has announced it has stopped production of the latest series of its hit show Top Gear in the wake of Freddie Flintoff’s accident last year.

The former cricketer, whose real name is Andrew Flintoff, was injured during filming of the motoring show last December.

Now the broadcaster has said that “under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 at this time.”

We take a look at what those “circumstances” are and the future for Top Gear.

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Freddie Flintoff has co-hosted the BBC’s Top Gear with Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris since 2019.
(Photo: Lee Brimble/BBC Studios)

What happened to Freddie Flintoff?

Flintoff has co-hosted the hugely popular BBC show Top Gear along with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris since 2019.

During his time on the programme, the 45-year-old has assumed the role of daredevil taking on some of the more high-risk stunts and challenges.

He has previously said “That’s just the nature of the stuff I do on the show now, and I’ve learnt to just get on with it and get stuck in, there’s no time for anything else.”

On 13 December last year, the former England cricket captain was involved in a crash on the test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey where the presenters review cars and undertake challenges.

He and a crew member were reported to have been driving a Morgan Super 3, an open-top British handmade vehicle described as a ‘motorised tricycle’, when it overturned.

Flintoff was said to have suffered facial injuries and broken ribs in the incident and was airlifted to hospital.

After the crash his 16-year-old son Corey told MailOnline his father was okay but was “lucky to be alive.”

‘It was a pretty nasty crash”, he said, “We are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.”

It is not the first time the father-of-four has been involved in incidents on the show.

He crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in February 2019 and was involved in a collision during a drag race while he was filming at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire the same year.

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Flintoff was involved in a crash while filming for the BBC show in December (Photo: Lee Brimble/BBC Studios)

What has Flintoff said about his future with Top Gear?

Since the incident in Surrey last year, the presenter has remained silent on social media.

A family insider told The Sun at the time he would be “putting his career on hold until he was in a better place mentally and physically” but remained “determined to resume his TV work at some point”.

However, a source close to the presenter has now told The Times he will be leaving the show.

They said: “Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash.

“He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.”

Representatives for Flintoff have been approached by i for comment.

What has the BBC said about the future of Top Gear?

BBC Studios said they “sincerely apologised to Freddie” and would continue to support him with his recovery adding: “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time.

“We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year.

“This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support.”

It is not the first time one of the show hosts has been injured while filming. Former presenter Richard Hammond suffered life-threatening injuries in 2006.

His car had been travelling at almost 320mph at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York when it crashed, leaving him in a coma with a frontal lobe brain injury.

The BBC has said there will now be a “health and safety review of the show, in line with our procedures.”

The halt in production has raised questions over the future of the show, which has run in its current format since 2002.

No episodes of series 34 have so far been broadcast but there are hopes some of those filmed earlier may be aired at some stage.

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