BBC addresses ‘exceptional circumstances’ leading to Top Gear’s indefinite hiatus in statement

The long-running TV series will be off air for the "foreseeable future".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 21st November 2023

The BBC has spoken out on the “exceptional circumstances” leading to its decision to rest Top Gear for the foreseeable future.

The broadcaster confirmed yesterday that the popular motoring show would be taking an indefinite hiatus.

It comes after former Lancashire and England cricketer, turned popular TV personality and presenter, Andrew Flintoff – more commonly-known as ‘Freddie’ – was involved in a horror crash while filming at Top Gear’s test track at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey back in December 2022.

The Preston-born sportsman sustained “serious injuries” during the incident, and was subsequently airlifted to hospital for treatment.

Although the BBC said at the time that his injuries were not life-threatening, sources close to the former England cricket captain revealed he’d been left “psychologically traumatised” following the incident, and would likely “never return” to Top Gear filming.


Now, the BBC has issued a statement on its decision to “rest” the series for the time being.

The broadcaster said it “remains committed” to the massively-popular series’ three current hosts, which also includes Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, but that resting the show for the “foreseeable future” is “the right thing to” given the “exceptional circumstances”.


The BBC’s statement reads in full: “Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future. 

“The BBC remains committed to Freddie, Chris and Paddy 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. 

Former cricketer turned TV host Freddie Flintoff was involved in a crash while filming Top Gear in 2022 / Credit: The Hundred

“We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do.”


The broadcaster has, however, assured fans of the show that all other Top Gear activity – which includes international formats, digital, magazines, and other licensing – remains “unaffected” by this indefinite hiatus.

Flintoff has now been appointed the Head Coach of the Leeds-based men’s Northern Superchargers cricket team, it was confirmed last week.

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This is his first permanent coaching role following the Top Gear crash.

Featured Image – BBC