Jeremy Clarkson: Hosting Top Gear after Freddie Flintoff crash would be 'heartless'

The Grand Tour presenter has said health and safety precautions would make the BBC car show boring.

Jeremy Clarkson attends the ITV Autumn Entertainment Launch at White City House on August 30, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Nick England/Getty Images)
Jeremy Clarkson has said ti would be heartless to take over as the host of Top Gear. (Getty Images)

Jeremy Clarkson has said that anyone who took over from Freddie Flintoff to host Top Gear would be seen as "heartless".

The Grand Tour presenter — who previously hosted the BBC car show — also complained that following the retired cricket player's crash in December 2022 the ramped up health and safety precautions would make any revival of Top Gear boring.

Clarkson wrote in his column in The Sun: "Sure, the producers could try to find a replacement. But would you want that gig? Really?

Former England captain Freddie Flintoff in the stands during the first one day international match at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. Picture date: Friday September 8, 2023. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Freddie Flintoff, pictured in September 2023, still has facial injuries from the crash in December 2022. (Getty Images)

"Because not only would you come across as a heartless t***, you’d be on a show that was written and produced every week by a newly invigorated and all-powerful health and safety department.

"And you’d be working for a corporation which fundamentally likes cycle lanes."

The Clarkson's Farm star's comments come following the news that the BBC has decided to "rest" the popular Sunday night car show following Flintoff's decision not to return as presenter.

Flintoff decided to quit the show after being involved in a high-speed crash in a three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 which does not contain airbags. The TV star was reportedly left with broken ribs and facial injuries after being airlifted to hospital.

Top Gear's Richard Hammond leaves Leeds General Infirmary.   (Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Top Gear's Richard Hammond suffered brain injuries from his Top Gear crash in 2006. (Getty Images)

Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond was famously injured in a high speed crash while filming the show in 2006. His resulting brain injuries left him suffering memory loss, depression and post-traumatic stress.

Clarkson said: "Richard Hammond was always keen to get back to work, whereas Freddie isn’t.

"I don’t blame him. I know what happened on that awful day and it was horrific."

Top Gear Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris
Freddie Flintoff hosted Top Gear with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. (BBC)

Flintoff had hosted the show fro 2019, along with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

He was injured while filming the 33rd series of the show and it has not aired since his injury.

Clarkson rose to fame as the host of Top Gear from 1988.

But he was dropped from the series in 2015 after an altercation with one of the show’s producers.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attend a screening of 'The Grand Tour' season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May left Top Gear to host The Grand Tour. (Getty Images)

Hammond and co-star James May decided to leave the show along with him, saying the trio came “as a package”, and they now present car show The Grand Tour on Prime Video.

Hammond has said of Flintoff's crash that TV producers need to be prepared for things to go wrong when filming in such high-risk conditions.

He said: "Television makers have to be aware that you’re not in some special bubble just because you’re making a TV show, and things can and do go wrong.

"Just like when my tyre blew at that speed – it’s going to be bad."

Flintoff's co-presenter on Top Gear Chris Harris required surgery to his hand after an injury which occurred during filming for the show — when a wooden car he was riding in overturned.

Read more: Top Gear

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