Former Top Gear presenter James May has spoken out for the first time since the BBC revealed on Tuesday (November 21) it would be "resting" the show for the "foreseeable future" following a near-fatal crash involving Andrew Flintoff. 

Production of the show has been halted since former England cricket captain Flintoff, 45, was severely injured in an accident at the Top Gear Test Track - the Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey in December 2022.

The former England cricket captain reportedly flipped a Morgan Super 3 vehicle on the first bend at the Top Gear test track during filming for the show while not wearing a helmet.

The vehicle was only travelling at 22mph but was open-top, meaning when it flipped Flintoff's face scraped along the tarmac, reported the Mail on Sunday.

The presenter is said to have sustained broken ribs and serious facial injuries in the incident with Flintoff’s son Corey, revealing at the time, said his father was “lucky to be alive” describing it as a “pretty nasty crash”.

Times and Star: Top Gear has been rested for the foreseeable future by the BBC after a near-fatal crash involving Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff.Top Gear has been rested for the foreseeable future by the BBC after a near-fatal crash involving Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff. (Image: PA)

There were reports Flintoff's crash was so bad Top Gear staff who witnessed it had to be signed off work indefinitely as they struggled to come to terms with an incident described as "something you would truly want to unsee". 

BBC reveals Top Gear will be rested for "foreseeable future"

On Tuesday, after months of speculation about the future of the show, the BBC revealed Top Gear would be rested for the "foreseeable future".

In a statement given to the PA news agency, the broadcaster said: "Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future.

“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.”

BBC Studios also said a health and safety production review of Top Gear has been carried out.

Former host James May says he'd be "really surprised" if Top Gear is "gone forever"

Former Top Gear host James May spoke on Wednesday (November 22) for the first time since the news the show had been rested indefinitely. 

May hosted Top Gear along with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond from 2003 until 2015. 

He said, speaking on the BBC's Today Podcast which aired on Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday, it was time for a "new format and a new approach" for the show.

May said: "My honest view is - I can say this now - it does need a bit of a rethink.

"It's time for a new format and a new approach to the subject because the subject has not been this interesting, I suspect, since the car has been invented."

He continued: "There's another way. I'm not saying I know what it is, but there must one. There must be another way of doing a show about cars.

"I'd be really surprised if it is gone forever... It or something like it."

May, Clarkson and Hammond now present The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video.