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Top Gear's Paddy McGuinness 'Thanks all for the love' as show 'paused'

Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness tells fans ‘Thanks for all the love’ after show is ‘paused’ following Freddie Flintoff crash amid fears it can never return due to rocketing insurance costs following the disaster drive

  • The show’s production has been halted since Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s crash

Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness has thanked fans ‘for the love’ after the BBC said the hit series will be off air for the ‘foreseeable future’.

His ‘goodbye’ message came amid fears the programme’s insurance costs have become unsustainable following Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s crash. 

The show’s  production has been halted since host Flintoff, 45, was taken to hospital in December 2022 after being badly hurt in an accident at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Following the crash, the BBC announced that it would pause production on the show, co-presented by Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and automotive journalist Chris Harris, as it was felt it would be ‘inappropriate’, adding there would be a health and safety review.

And after the BBC’s announcement to ‘rest’ the show for the foreseeable future, Paddy posted a gallery of images on Instagram starting with a picture of the trio in white Top Gear outfits.

He wrote the caption: ‘We were always going to be b*****s but we were your b******s. 

‘Thanks for all the love over the years folks, it was very much appreciated.’

Paddy McGuinness posted this image on Instagram of the trio in white Top Gear outfits

Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness has thanked fans ‘for the love’ after the BBC said the hit series will be off air for the ‘foreseeable future’

Paddy McGuinness posted a series of images on his Instagram page as he thanked fans ‘for the love’

The images were captioned ‘We were always going to be b*****s but we were your b******s’

Fans wished them all the best, telling them they would be missed. 

One replied to the photo saying: ‘Love all you guys. You’re gonna be missed…Hopefully you’ll all be back sooner rather than later.’

Flintoff is understood to have negotiated a £9million settlement with the BBC for two years’ loss of earnings as a result of the crash. 

And sources have told The Telegraph that the corporation would not be able to secure insurance cover for the kind of stunts featured in past series. 

‘The insurance costs are through the roof,’ an insider told the newspaper. ‘They were already pretty high, but after the payout…no-one is going to want to do that, unless they’re charging more than the BBC can pay.’ 

MailOnline understands that insurance costs were not a factor in the BBC’s decision to pause the show.  

In a statement earlier this week, the BBC said: ‘Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future.

Posting this image among a selection of photos, Paddy said: ‘Thanks for all the love over the years folks, it was very much appreciated.’

The show’s production has been halted since host Flintoff, 45, was taken to hospital in December 2022

‘The BBC remains committed to Freddie, Chris and Paddy who have been at the heart of the show’s renaissance since 2019, and we’re excited about new projects being developed with each of them.

‘We will have more to say in the near future on this. 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.’

In September, Flintoff was photographed for the first time in public since the crash and had visible facial injuries as he joined up with the England cricket squad for their one-day international series against New Zealand.

Freddie Flintoff, pictured in September, scraped his face ‘horrifically’ after he rolled a three-wheel Morgan Super 3 while on the Top Gear test track

Flintoff was recruited as one of the new presenters on Top Gear after it was rebooted for a third successive time since the departure of mainstay presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May

Read more: Top Gear is shelved: BBC says it will ‘rest’ the motoring show ‘for the foreseeable future’ after horror crash nearly killed host Freddie Flintoff

He has since made a gradual return to the public eye and last week it was announced that the father-of-four has been appointed as head coach of the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.

In a statement given to the PA news agency on Tuesday, the BBC said it is ‘excited about new projects being developed’ with the current presenting line-up of Flintoff, former Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and automotive journalist Chris Harris.

In addition, BBC Studios said a health and safety production review of Top Gear, which did not cover the accident but looked at previous seasons, found that there were ‘important learnings which would need to be rigorously applied to future Top Gear UK productions’.

A statement said: ‘The report includes a number of recommendations to improve approaches to safety as Top Gear is a complex programme-making environment routinely navigating tight filming schedules and ambitious editorial expectations – challenges often experienced by long-running shows with an established on and off screen team.

‘Learnings included a detailed action plan involving changes in the ways of working, such as increased clarity on roles and responsibilities and better communication between teams for any future Top Gear production.’

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