The cricketer-turned-presenter was airlifted to hospital on 13 December 2022 after crashing while filming a car review at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, home of the Top Gear test track.
In April 2023, he was pictured out and about for the first time since the accident, with his injuries hidden by sunglasses. On Friday 8 September 2023, nine months on from the crash, Flintoff’s face injuries were seen for the first time during a public appearance.
While insiders said at the time that his injuries sustained in the crash were non-life threatening, his 16-year-old son Corey said that the 45-year-old was “lucky to be alive”.
“It was a pretty nasty crash,” he said. “It is shocking. We are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.”
In the accident, Flintoff’s open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 car reportedly flipped and slid along the track when he was driving at high speed.
He and a crew member in the passenger seat were wearing helmets, but Flintoff suffered facial injuries and several broken ribs.
It has been reported that Flintoff is quitting the show, which he co-hosts with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.
“Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash,” a source told The Times. “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.”
In a statement shared in April, the BBC said: “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34. We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery.
A more concrete update was shared in November 2023 when the BBC said it had decided to “rest” the show for an indefinite amount of time.
The corporation said: “Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future.
“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.”
Flintoff had narrowly avoided serious injury in an earlier crash not long after joining the show in 2019, explaining he “ran out of runway” at Elvington Airfield near York while riding a specialised three-wheel drag racing vehicle in competition with his fellow presenters.
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