Hit motoring show Top Gear will not return for the “foreseeable future”, the BBC has announced.
Production of the show has been halted since host and former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff, 45, was seriously injured in an accident at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey in December.
Following the crash, the BBC announced in March that it had cancelled the show's 34th series, co-presented by Paddy McGuinness and automotive journalist Chris Harris.
“Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future,” the broadcaster said. “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. We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do. All other Top Gear activity remains unaffected by this hiatus including international formats, digital, magazines and licensing.”
The BBC apologised to Flintoff in March in regard to his injuries and announced a health and safety review of the show. Flintoff, who is still recovering from “life-alteringly significant” injuries, according to his lawyers, recently reached a settlement with the BBC, reportedly worth £9m.
In September, Flintoff was photographed for the first time in public since the crash and had visible facial injuries as he joined the England cricket squad for their one-day international series against New Zealand.
Flintoff and McGuinness made their debut as Top Gear hosts in June 2019, joining Harris – who started as a lead host in 2017 – from the 27th series of the BBC Two show.
The presenting line-up of Top Gear has made headlines for better and worse over the years.
Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc was a surprise addition to the Top Gear presenting line-up along with presenter and radio star Chris Evans, following the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
LeBlanc joined the show in 2016, and continued to host after Evans threw in the towel after just one series. The American actor announced his departure in 2018 due to the demands of the role and how much it kept him away from his family and friends.
In 2015, Clarkson was dropped from the flagship BBC show over what the corporation called an “unprovoked physical attack” on a producer.
After his BBC exit, fellow presenters May and Hammond also quit, refusing to return without their co-host. The trio moved to Prime Video to front The Grand Tour.
New episodes of The Grand Tour have not been filmed since Clarkson wrote a column in The Sun newspaper last year attacking Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
In the column, which was the subject of a record number of complaints, Clarkson wrote that he had dreamt of Meghan being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed. “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way,” he wrote.
Agencies contributed to this report