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James May thinks Freddie Flintoff was just 'extremely unlucky' during Top Gear crash

James May thinks Freddie Flintoff was just 'extremely unlucky' during Top Gear crash

James May reckons his Top Gear successor was simply struck down by bad luck.

James May might have the nickname 'Captain Slow' due to his careful approach to driving, but he's had to slam on the brakes once or twice too.

That's why the presenter, 60, reckons that Freddie Flintoff's horrific crash was just down to being 'extremely unlucky'.

May has shared his thoughts on the dramatic incident that culminated in the BBC deciding to 'rest' Top Gear for the 'foreseeable future' while speaking to LADbible.

In December 2022, Flintoff was left seriously injured after the Morgan Super 3 he was driving at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey flipped on the test tracks first corner.

The fate of the show was left hanging in the balance and production was halted after the former England cricket captain, 46, was rushed to hospital by air ambulance, with the BBC saying it would be 'inappropriate' to continue.

The Beeb then revealed that these 'exceptional circumstances' had forced them to take their foot off the gas and call time on filming Top Gear, which had been presented by Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness and Flintoff since 2019.

"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," a statement said.

James May hosted Top Gear and The Grand Tour with Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson.

But it seems May might have had a premonition about the future of the show before the broadcaster came to its decision.

Prior to the announcement, the former Top Gear presenter told LADbible in early November that the show beloved by car fanatics was on life support and desperately needed a revamp for it to survive.

May explained: "It seems to be sort of dead in the water for the moment, but I can’t believe it’s gone forever.

"As I said when we first started doing The Grand Tour and we weren’t doing Top Gear anymore, the world is a better place for having two car shows to be rivals and to bounce off each other a bit.

"It’s not a bad thing. So I hope they find a way of reinventing it and bringing it back, it’s due to be reinvented. I mean let’s be honest, we’re due to be reinvented.

"We’ve been doing it for 20 plus years and we’re getting quite old. There’s never been a better opportunity."

May has just released the highly anticipated sequel to his travel series titled James May: Our Man In India on Amazon Prime, which saw him make an epic 3,000 mile journey across the colourful country - meaning he had to swap the high-speed motors he is used to for rickshaws, bicycles and a trusty Toyota.

The presenter headed to India for his latest expedition for his travel series.

The vehicles May usually gets behind the wheel in obviously have a lot more welly than those lot, which I'm sure he thought about when his 75mph smash into a wall while shooting The Grand Tour in Norway last year crossed his mind.

The star dubbed the broken ribs he sustained during the accident as a 'playground injury', while insisting that he has never felt unsafe while filming for either Top Gear or The Grand Tour.

Speaking of the incident involving his Top Gear successor, Freddie Flintoff, May said he thinks he was just 'extremely unlucky'.

The travel series host explained to LADbible: "We’re pretty careful. I think he [Freddie] was just extremely unlucky, but nothing can ever be 100 percent safe.

"Even going to the shops can’t be and playing football can’t be. It’s a shame, I hope he gets over it. He seems to be doing okay but yeah - it’s serious.

"Good luck to him, it’s obviously a worse accident than anyone realised at first."

Looking back on his illustrious career on the small screen alongside Hammond and Clarkson - who have all performed pretty risky stunts over the years - May reckons they were always pretty health and safety conscious.

He added: "I don’t think we have ever taken any massive risks that could have killed us. I’ve had a few broken ribs and things but it’s largely been my own fault.

May confessed he was glad Hammond and Clarkson didn't join him in India.

"They are playground injuries - it’s happening all over the place. We’re not special just because we’re on TV."

Although audiences are used to watching May head on wacky adventures alongside Hammond and Clarkson, he admitted that he didn't find himself aching for his close pals to join him in India.

The 60-year-old joked: "I’d much rather they weren’t there, because then I can just talk all the time and nobody can stop me. It’s great."

May also doesn't fear the prospect of being without his car chums, despite The Grand Tour coming to an end this year.

He continued: "I will miss the experience of being with them - and not just them, everybody that is involved in The Grand Tour. There is a huge crew and there is lots of people behind the scenes.

"I’ll miss all that and all the great adventures we go on - but I don’t know that I’d particularly yearn for them on a personal level. I have other friends!"

James May: Our Man in India launched globally on Prime Video on 5th January 2024, and the next special of The Grand Tour will launch in February on Prime Video.

Featured Image Credit: Visonhaus/Getty Prime Video

Topics: James May, Celebrity, TV and Film, Amazon Prime, Top Gear, The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, Freddie Flintoff