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Andrew Flintoff is 'healing', Top Gear co-host Chris Harris says

Andrew Flintoff is 'healing', Top Gear co-host Chris Harris says


Former cricketer Flintoff was injured at Top Gear's test track last December

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(Web Desk) - Top Gear co-host Chris Harris has said Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff is "healing" following his crash while filming for the show almost a year ago.

Former cricketer Flintoff was injured at Top Gear's test track last December.

The BBC has apologised to him, suspended the series and paid him compensation worth a reported £9m.

Harris told BBC Breakfast on Thursday: "I think he's healing. It was a serious incident. I'm not going to say any more than that."

The crash happened at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey, but few details have been made public.

Harris, who was speaking to promote his memoir, continued: "As I've said in the book and in the few interviews I've given, I'm so proud of the fact that team Top Gear kept everything quiet and we were dignified.

"There is nothing out there about what happened. There won't be. There's no mole in the organisation. I'm really proud of that."

In his book, titled Variable Valve Timings, Harris writes: "I was there that day and the only thing I want to say on the subject is that I'm happy he's still with us."

"If there is only one good thing that comes out of it, it is that there's been dignity. Fred's been given the time to heal. It's been a tough time. I defy anyone to not care about their friends if they get injured. I do."

Flintoff's legal team told the Sun newspaper in October that the star was recovering from "life-alteringly significant" injuries.

He made his first steps back into the public eye in September when he joined the England coaching set-up on an informal basis for the one-day international series against New Zealand and Ireland.

The 45-year-old was pictured with scars on his face, and in a video released by England Cricket he talked about "the hardest times of your life" in reference to his recent experiences.

"It's great to see him out and about being passionate about cricket," Harris told BBC Breakfast.

"I'm sad I'm not doing Top Gear with him at the moment, but that's life. It's the best thing for him right now."

Discussing the impact the crash had on his own life, Harris said the show's abrupt hiatus had left him in a "slightly dark place".

"I suddenly had nothing to do," Harris said. "I have got another business, which is an online car platform, which is great. I do stuff there.

"But my day job went, and you can imagine, your muscle memory of working life is really important. If that suddenly stops... and suddenly you don't talk to those people, you don't see those people, then yeah, you go into a slightly dark place, I think. I really missed it."

Harris has been on the Top Gear line-up since 2016. Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness joined in 2019.

The show's future is still uncertain following Flintoff's accident. In March, the BBC said there would be a health and safety review of the programme, undertaken by an independent third party.

A spokesperson for the Heath and Safety Executive, the national regulator for workplace safety, said in March it had completed its inquiries into the incident and would not be investigating further.