Richard Hammond discusses Freddie Flintoff's return to Top Gear and the future of daredevil stunts

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Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond says he wants Freddie Flintoff to return to the popular motoring show following crash but cannot imagine an end to daredevil stunts.

The 53-year-old was on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme with Nick Robinson last week to talk about the re-boot of Takeshi's Castle, which bears a marked resemblence to his iconic Total Wipeout series.

As both shows are well known for being phsyically demanding, the topic turned to another of Hammonds’ ventures, Top Gear, which has also proven phsycially demanding for its stars.

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This was most recently made apparant in the case of Preston born cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, who, whilst filming Top Gear in December 2022, suffered a serious crash which led to his hospitalisation.

In March, it was reported that filming of the new series had been halted due to the crash – which left 45-year-old Freddie with broken bones and reported psychological trauma – and it was unlikely he would return when filming resumes.

When presenter Nick asked whether he would like to see Freddie return to Top Gear, Hammond, who hosted the show between 2002–2015, replied: “Of course, very much.”

Hammond himself was no stranger to accidents, having been left in a coma after flipping a jet-powered vehicle at 280mph on Top Gear in 2006.

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Then in 2017, Hammond crashed a Rimac Concept One at a hill-climb in Switzerland, rolling the car several times and fracturing his knee.

When asked by Nick, if he thinks we have seen the end of daredevil stunts on TV, Hammond replied: “I doubt it. I think in all television programmes, if you're taking risks you have to mitigate everywhere against those risks.

“But also we've all got to remember, and occasionally I'm reminded, just because we're on TV doesn't mean we're in some sort of magic protected bubble.

“Real world things still apply.”