Production of future episodes of “Top Gear” has stopped and will remain that way for the “foreseeable future,” the show's producer, the BBC, announced on Tuesday.
Filming for a 34th season was already on hold following a crash last December involving presenter Freddie Flintoff. Although the crash was not life-threatening, the former professional cricket player suffered injuries to his face that required extensive surgery.
He is reported by The Sun to have reached a settlement with the BBC in the amount of 9 million British pounds (approximately $11.3 million).
Following the crash, the BBC conducted an internal investigation focused on the health and safety measures for filming of "Top Gear." The BBC said the show's standards met industry best practices but that some “important learnings” would apply to any future production of the show, hinting that it might not be the final curtain call for "Top Gear." In its statement, the BBC described the hiatus as merely “resting” the show.
The new Top Gear trio
The BBC also said it remains committed to working with Flintoff and fellow hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, and that it has new projects for all three of them in the pipeline. Details on these projects will be revealed in due course.
"Top Gear" has been on hiatus before. The original show ran from 1997 to 2001. It was then revived with the current format in 2002, with Jeremy Clarkson hosting together with Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe initially. Dawe was replaced by James May after a single season. The show then went on a small hiatus again in 2015 after Clarkson was fired for punching a crew member. Hammond and May also left the show at that point, after which it was revived the following year with new hosts.
Clarkson, Hammond, and May went off to form the new show "The Grand Tour" on Amazon Prime, but it too appears to be canceled due to a new controversy surrounding Clarkson.