BBC scraps UK Top Gear show for 'foreseeable future'

Staff WritersReuters
The BBC's version of Top Gear has been sold to more than 150 territories around the world. (Sarah Motherwell/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconThe BBC's version of Top Gear has been sold to more than 150 territories around the world. (Sarah Motherwell/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

The British version of the globally popular BBC car show Top Gear will not return for the foreseeable future, the broadcaster says, after a crash in December which left presenter Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff with serious injuries.

The BBC said in March it had decided to halt production following the accident, which occurred during filming.

On Tuesday it said: "Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future... 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 statement said.

Flintoff, 45, a former England cricketer who became a Top Gear host in 2019, was said to have been lucky to survive the accident last December at Top Gear's test track in southern England.

The Sun newspaper reported last month that his injuries were "life-alteringly significant," citing his legal team.

He reached a settlement over the accident worth 9 million pounds ($A17 million) with the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Studios, the Sun newspaper report also said.

Last week, Flintoff was named head coach of an English cricket franchise and in September joined the England team in an unofficial coaching role.

A safety review of the show was carried out in the months following the crash which the BBC said showed that while best practice was followed, there were important learnings which would be "rigorously applied" to the programme in future.

The broadcaster, which has apologised to Flintoff, said it remained committed to the former cricketer and his two co-presenters, and there were new projects being developed with them.

The UK show Top Gear is sold to more than 150 territories and there are 11 local format versions including in the United States, France and Finland.

Top Gear magazine is the world's largest monthly motoring magazine with 30 licensed local editions including in China, France and Japan.

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