TV & Film
BBC cancels Top Gear filming after Freddie Flintoff accident
‘We’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year’
Filming for the latest series of Top Gear has been cancelled after presenter Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was injured in an accident, the BBC has said.
The presenter, 45, was hurt in the accident while filming in December at Top Gear’s test track at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, in Surrey. The BBC said: “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34.”
The broadcaster has said a decision on how to best continue would be made later this year. Following the accident, which happened on December 13th, the media personality received medical attention at the scene before being taken to hospital for further treatment.
In a statement, the BBC said: “We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery. We understand this [halting the show] will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year.”
The crash is believed to have left Flintoff ‘psychologically traumatised’. The broadcaster has said the incident has also impacted the production team, and there will be a health and safety review of the show. Top Gear is one of its most successful programmes, and has had a series of different presenters since 2002.
It is not the first time the former England cricketer has been involved in an accident since he began presenting the long-running programme back in 2019, alongside co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.
He also crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in February 2019, and then in September of the same year, he also crashed during a drag race while he was filming at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire – the latter in which he walked away unharmed.
After retiring from international cricket in 2010, Flintoff ventured into TV where he became part of Sky’s, A League of Their Own, and was also a contestant on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, where he was crowned king of the jungle.
Trying his hand at acting, he has also appeared in the drama Love, Lies and Records in 2017 – and singing in Fat Friends The Musical too. It is unknown whether Flintoff will make a return to the show at this time.
Long standing fans of the show will remember that former Top Gear presenter, Richard Hammond, also crashed at the same airfield track in a high-speed accident in 2006. The accident left him in a coma for a period of time while he made a full recovery from a brain injury.
He survived and ultimately returned to the series alongside fellow hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May. The trio left Top Gear in 2015 after an altercation between Clarkson and a producer.
Last month, Hammond said he worried the crash would be responsible for his worsening memory.
TV & Film
Amanda Holden could ‘take over from Paul O’Grady’ on For the Love of Dogs
Amanda Holden looks set to ‘take over from the late Paul O’Grady’ on ITV’s For the Love of Dogs, according to reports.
The 52-year-old Britain’s Got Talent judge is said to be the ‘natural choice’ to take the place of the late comedian — known for his love of animals — on his beloved Battersea Dogs Home series.
The national treasure and TV presenter, who performed for years as both himself as his drag alter-ego Lily Savage, died ‘unexpectedly’ but peacefully’ at his Kent home in March, at the age of 67.
An advocate for the welfare of dogs, O’Grady began presenting the series in 2012, based out of the dogs and cats care facility in London.
It’s beginning to look as though his friend and fellow TV presenter Amanda Holden will take hold of the reins of the much-loved series, which is in its 11th, and potentially, final season.
Talking to The Sun, a source said: “Executives just feel like it’s too soon to make firm plans about the series, as it’s barely been two months since he died.”
However, they added: “But the feeling at the home is that [Amanda as host] what Paul would have wanted. He cared deeply about the animals in Battersea.
“Amanda is the natural choice to take over the job, not just because she’s a seasoned presenter but because she also cares about the home.” Amanda is also an ambassador at the Battersea Dogs & Cats home, just as Paul was.
The latest episodes of the series, which were filmed with O’Grady has host before his ‘peaceful but unexpected’ death, have left viewers feeling emotional. Paul became teary as he saw ‘Freddie’ the dog suffering due to a deep wound that needed careful surgery and stitches.
“Can’t work out if this series is making me cry more because of the specific stories or because Paul is gone. Maybe both,” one viewer posted on Twitter.
Another added: “Oh god, here we go again, more tears for the beautiful pooches & our dear, wonderful irreplaceable Paul. That said, I really hope someone will pick this up & carry on Paul’s truly amazing work with Battersea.”
TV & Film
Mamma Mia 3 could ‘finally be in the works’
Exciting news for Mamma Mia fans!
A Mamma Mia 3 movie is said to be ‘finally in the works’.
It’s good news for Mamma Mia fans as the ABBA-themed sing-along rom-com reportedly has a third in the pipeline.
Fifteen years after the first Mamma Mia was released, and five since Mamma Mia 2, fans will be delighted as their hopes and dreams may finally come true.
A handful of stars from the show have expressed their desire to have a third movie — so perhaps it’s time for Universal Pictures to put their ‘money, money, money’ where their mouth is and get this movie made.
There’s no official confirmation just yet. However, Mamma Mia‘s original production team have spoken out about a potential third film — sounds promising!
The show’s creator confirmed she had a story ready, plus there are still more ABBA songs out there to cover. According to Deadline, Mamma Mia creator, Judy Craymer, has got some fresh ideas to take things forward.
“I don’t want to over-egg it, but I know there’s a trilogy there,” she said. “There is a story there, and I do think Meryl should come back – and if the script is right, she would, I think, because she really loved playing Donna.” Come on, Meryl!
Craymer’s not the only one willing to take a chance on Mamma Mia 3 as movie star Pierce Brosnan told The Kelly Clarkson Show that the cast were ‘talking about it’.
Back in June 2020, Craymer also revealed to the Daily Mail that she had been working on the third instalment for some time. “I think one day there will be another film, because there’s meant to be a trilogy, you see. I know Universal would like me to do it,” she said.
While audiences might be shouting ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’, it’s still really early days for the film’s production — though Brosnan reckons his co-stars would come back as ‘it was criminal how much fun we had’.
If a third movie does go ahead, that could be it for the Mamma Mia story, as Craymer has previously spoken about a ‘trilogy’. So when the credits roll and the curtains draw, it might be a case of ‘Thank You for the Music’.
That’s all we have for now, so keep your eyes peeled for further updates here.
TV & Film
Netflix share first look at new Harlan Coben thriller filmed in Manchester
We can’t wait for this!
Netflix have shared the first pictures from its new Harlan Coben thriller Fool Me Once.
The streaming giant and thriller writer have teamed up to deliver a new screen adaptation of Fool Me Once, following past successful collaborations including The Stranger, Safe and Stay Close.
This next one is set to be so good, it’ll have you gripped to the edge of your seat. It’s not surprising considering its stellar cast with the likes of talented actors such as Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage and Joanna Lumley.
The plot sees Maya (Keegan) grieve the death of her husband Joe (Armitage), but after installing a nanny-cam to watch over her daughter, she sees a man in her house she recognises — her dead husband.
Detective Sergeant Sami Kierce is leading the homicide investigation into Joe’s death, whilst also battling secrets of his own.
Maya’s niece and nephew are dealing with their own mother’s murder, which occurred a few months earlier, and they’re on the hunt for answers. Is there any chance the two cases are connected?
Harlan Coben describes the series as a ‘pulse-pounder’ and says it is ‘a shocking story of how secrets and deceit have the power to bring people together while simultaneously tearing them apart’.
Joanna Lumley will be joining the cast as Judith Burkett, Joe’s very protective mother, and completing the main cast is Adeel Akhtar, who takes on the role of Detective Sergeant Sami Kierce. Other cast members include Emmett J. Scanlan and Dino Fetscher.
Ahead of its release, Netflix have now shared first look pictures from the set of the upcoming eight-part series.
Filming for the series began in Manchester and around the North West in February.
Keegan broke the news of her casting via an Instagram post the same month, saying she was ‘over the moon’ to be taking part in the show alongside a photo of her reading the novel on which it is based.
A release date for Fool Me Once is yet to be announced.