The BBC has dismissed claims that it is cancelling Top Gear after nearly 50 years, following the horrific collision that put Freddie Flintoff in the hospital.
According to a BBC representative, ‘a decision on the schedule of future Top Gear programmes will be made in due course with BBC Content.’
The 45-year-old England cricket captain was hospitalised in December after suffering face injuries in a crash while filming the programme at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.
It was claimed at the time that he was ‘fortunate to be alive’ following the tragic occurrence at the test track in December.
A month later, in January of this year, it was disclosed that shooting for the programme had been ‘paused indefinitely,’ sparking curiosity over whether it would ever resume.
According to sources, there is ‘no way it can continue,’ with production personnel reportedly discussing the show’s future for the previous 10 months.
According to sources, production personnel has also been directed to focus on other tasks.
‘Top Gear has been an institution on British telly but the feeling is there is no way it can continue after Freddie’s crash,’ a source has now said.
‘The BBC are aware they very nearly lost a presenter’s life while filming a segment, and there’s a feeling it would be in bad taste to continue making such dangerous material.
‘It’s a tough decision but they know deep down it’s the right one as hardcore fans of the show won’t want to see a lightweight version,’ they added when speaking to The Sun.
Top Gear co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris have not publicly commented on Flintoff’s incident, but the delay in making a decision regarding the show’s future is claimed to have ‘irked’ production employees.
The Sun also stated that at least one person is going to sue the BBC for lost revenue.
‘Things could get ugly as people connected with the show have lost so much due to the indecision of BBC bosses,’ the source added.
‘There could be more than a few big payouts coming.’
Freddie, 45, was severely hurt and has just lately resumed public appearances.
Top Gear debuted on BBC Midlands in 1977, with Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne as hosts, a year before the national station took over.
Jeremy Clarkson took over in 1988, departing 11 years later until returning in 2002 with Richard Hammond and Jason Dowe, who was eventually replaced by James May the following year.
Flintoff, McGuinness, and Harris take over the programme in 2019 after the three left in 2015.
Top Gear is streaming on BBC iPlayer.