Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris are back with a bang for the newest season of Top Gear, and they’ve promised it’ll be just as thrilling as ever, especially after one incident which left Freddie hurtling at 60mph with his head on the ice when his bobsleigh tipped over on an Olympic track.
This year, the hosts have travelled to Norway and to Florida, where they swamp buggy race through an alligator-infested swamp, cruise around Florida in the savage Top Gear RV (and with Paddy in some pretty quirky shirts) and go head-to-head in classic American muscle cars in Miami.
In the new series, the trio test out some gorgeous, famous classic cars: Starsky and Hutch’s Ford Gran Torina, Magnum PI’s Ferrari 308 GTS, and Inspector Morse’s Jaguar Mark 2.
Former cricketer Freddie also tests out one of the late Sir Clive Sinclair’s most iconic creations: the Sinclair C5, but first he transforms the one-person electric car into a bobsleigh.
He then doesn’t just take it on any ordinary spin, but on an eccentric adventure, as Freddie attempts to break the national speed limit whilst piloting the C5 down an Olympic bobsleigh run.
And it appears to have been just as scary as it sounds.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk and other press about preparing for the thrilling moment, Freddie shared: ‘I landed on my head and turned [the bobsleigh] over.
‘I was practicing and I’d not been down many times, and I was coming round to the last corner and my foot slipped off the [pedal], and then rather than keeping my eyes on where I was going, I thought “What’s that?” and the next thing, my head was on the ice, and I had to push over to upright myself.’
The 44-year-old had been practicing to drive the Sinclair C5, created by pioneer Sir Clive: an all-electric, eco-friendly, low-speed personal mobility vehicle, launched 40 years ahead of its time, back in 1985.
But despite the vehicle being legendary, Chris couldn’t help thinking that it looked a bit too macabre, saying it looked ‘unusually like a coffin.’
Sharing how he felt when he watched Freddie take the fall, Chris recalled: ‘As his head was on the ice, you’d expect most people to be screaming or be quiet, but he’s talking, he’s going “I’m not sure I should be doing this.”
‘He’s doing 60mph with his head on the ice!’ Chris added, gesturing that of course Freddie should not ‘be doing this’.
Chris added: ‘I always watch these things, it’s a bit like watching one of your kids, you want to push them to a place so that they experience something but there is this sort of protecting and you think, “I hope he hasn’t hurt himself.”
‘I’ve seen the footage of him on the side, and when they role out the Sinclair C5, I thought, “I really hope the people that made this know what they’re doing, otherwise that does look like unusually like a coffin.”’
Freddie also confirmed that, from all their bizarre experiences filming for this series, the bobsleigh adventure was definitely the scariest.
Paddy, who wasn’t there to witness Freddie’s fall at the time, admitted that he and Chris wouldn’t be taking on adventures like that.
He said: ‘Chris and I don’t do all the challenges Freddie does because we are rational human beings!
‘The producers don’t even put them to us. I think they just have a pile on the desk, the “Freddie pile”, of stuff most people wouldn’t even think of doing. To be fair to Fred, I’ve never seen him turn anything down. He always gives it a go.’
Top Gear returns to BBC One on Sunday, June 5 at 8pm.