Former Top Gear presenter Steve Berry has revealed a frightening hidden crash that occurred on the programme, forcing him to get out of an inverted car when a stunt nearly turned tragic.
Berry, 68, hosted the BBC One show for six years, from 1993 to 1999, and has previously stated that he believes it will return in four years, following the announcement that the show will be pulled off the air following the tragic death of Freddie Flintoff.
Flintoff, 45, was hospitalised following a frightening accident in December 2022 that left him “lucky to be alive.”
Top Gear is no longer on the air, with the BBC stating the show will be off the broadcast “for the foreseeable future.”
In addition to Flintoff’s terrifying incident, the programme has witnessed several accidents, including Richard Hammond being seriously wounded in a 280mph crash in 2006, which put him in a medically induced coma for three weeks.
Berry has now disclosed that he was engaged in an accident that was ‘almost’ a disaster.
‘I put a Lotus Europa in a ditch upside down and it started to sink into the ditch which was full of water.
‘Fortunately I managed to kick my way out of the windscreen and burrow my way out of the car, that never made it to the press,’ he said.
Berry continued to hosts Jeremy Kyle and Nicola Thorp on TalkTV: ‘Health and safety came in, I went from being a presenter to a director and all of a sudden in the 2000s, health and safety people appeared which was great because sometimes, as a programme maker, you get all excited about what you’re doing and you think, “Let’s top what we did last time. Let’s make it bigger, more exciting, more spectacular” and fortunately there started to be people who would say, “Hang on a second, what if everybody gets horribly killed?” Health and safety has saved a lot of people from serious injury.’
When asked about reports that the programme would return, Berry compared it to Doctor Who’s sabbatical between 1989 and 2005, when it returned to even greater success.
He said: ‘There’s one easy way to freak out a millennial. Actually there are lots of ways to freak out a millennial but one of the best ones is to tell them that Doctor Who went missing for 16 years.
‘They have to rush to their phones immediately to confirm that that actually happened. The older ones among us know well that it happened.
‘My mate bought a Dalek off the BBC, a real one, which is now worth a fortune because they thought they’d never need them again. It was done and finished. Sylvester McCoy killed it off, consigned to history.
‘Top Gear will be back for the same reason that Doctor Who came back. Money.
‘They’ll rest it for four or five years until people forget the unpleasantness and then it will be brought back in a new format, as James May himself has said today. A new format in a few years time when everyone’s forgotten the nastiness.’
Berry added that it will be ‘no less than four years, no more than six years,’ before Top Gear’s return.
Ex-presenter May, who fronted the show alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, earlier expressed his devastation at the news the show has been taken off air, saying: ‘I can see why it’s a tricky one for the makers, but I can’t believe it’s gone forever.’
May, 60, went on to add that he doesn’t think they ‘ever did anything dangerous’ and safety was taken ‘very seriously’.
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