Top Gear legend James May has shared his sadness at the show being axed. May - who used to star on the BBC show alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, who hails from Solihull, said: "I can’t believe it’s gone forever," after the decision to "shelve" it today.

He said: “I can see why it’s a tricky one for the makers, but I can’t believe it’s gone forever.” He went on: “I think it’s sad because I was a big Top Gear watcher when I was a teenager in the 70s.” On safety, James said: “I don’t think we ever did anything dangerous.

"We used to take safety very seriously and I still know guys who have worked on it, and they do as well.” Take Me Out star Paddy McGuinness and England cricketer Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff were then announced in 2018 as presenters of Top Gear.

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Motoring journalist and racing driver Chris Harris also presented the show alongside them. Ratings improved to an average overnight audience of 2.5 million viewers in the first episode, which aired in June 2019 with the new presenting line-up.

In February 2019, Flintoff was involved in a minor incident when he crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. In September of the same year, he crashed again while driving a three-wheel vehicle at a reported speed of 124mph during filming for Top Gear at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, but walked away from the incident unharmed.

The next year, McGuinness crashed after skidding on oil and the moment was shown on the show. In December 2022, Flintoff was taken to hospital after he was hurt while filming for Top Gear at its test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

He appeared with facial injuries in public for the first time in September, and in October the BBC reached a financial settlement with Flintoff.