Top Gear stars reunite without Freddie Flintoff for new BBC series

‘Top Gear’ is being ‘rested’ after Flintoff’s near-death crash in 2022

Tom Murray
Tuesday 21 May 2024 09:01
Paddy McGuinness gives Freddie Flintoff health update after crash

Top Gear presenters Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris are set to front a new road trip series for the BBC.

The network decided to “rest” Top Gear indefinitely following host Freddie Flintoff’s 2022 accident, which saw him airlifted to hospital after the Morgan Super 3 car he was driving flipped during filming.

He reached a reported £9m settlement with the BBC last year.

In November the corporation said the hosts would have “new projects” with the BBC when it announced that the entertainment series would be rested for the “foreseeable future”.

The new factual series, which has a working title of Paddy And Chris: Road Trippin’, will see Take Me Out star McGuinness, 50, and sports journalist Harris, 49, travel to European countries including Sweden, Greece and Switzerland.

McGuinness said: “I’m very much looking forward to getting back on the road with Chris Harris.

“Not so much looking forward to sharing a confined space with him. He doesn’t believe in deodorant. On the plus side he’ll give me something to laugh at along the way. Bring it on!”

Paddy McGuinness (left) and Chris Harris co-host ‘Top Gear’ alongside Freddie Flintoff (Getty Images)

Harris said: “Paddy’s idea of long-haul travel is driving from Bolton to Blackpool, so this European road trip should be a real eye-opener for both of us.

“When we’re finished debating the merits of literally everything we encounter, viewers will hopefully take something rewarding away from our deep-dive into the secrets of human longevity – but I’m just hoping my interest in the subject doesn’t dwindle as each mile goes by in Paddy’s company.”

Kalpna Patel-Knight, head of entertainment commissioning at the BBC, said: “Paddy and Chris are packing their bags and heading off to Europe in this exciting new adventure.

“The pair will explore different countries, cultures and people and will also be trying to discover the secrets to living a long and fulfilling life.

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“They will be trying their very best to embrace these new experiences all whilst of course having a good laugh along the way too. Bon voyage chaps.”

Kat Lennox, BBC Studios creative director, factual entertainment, added: “Paddy and Chris’ on-screen chemistry has always been a favourite amongst audiences and we’re so excited to be bringing more of an insight into their friendship through this adventure of a lifetime.

“With plenty of bants along the way, of course, it’s certainly going to be entertaining.”

The series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with broadcast details to be announced in due course.

Top Gear was previously hosted by fan favourites Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. It was taken over by McGuinness, Harris and former England cricketer Flintoff in 2018.

McGuinness recently insisted the show has not been cancelled: “It’s just on hold at the minute while they get a few things in place.”

Meanwhile, Flintoff will return to the BBC for a second series of his cricket documentary, Field of Dreams, the organisation announced earlier this year.

The series sees Flintoff take a group of teenagers from his home town of Preston and attempt to turn them into a competitive cricket team.

Additional reporting from the Press Association

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