'The Original Stig' demands answers from the BBC regarding Freddie Flintoff accident

Stig star Perry McCarthy

Stig star Perry McCarthy demands answers from the BBC about Flintoff crash

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 21/09/2023

- 11:14

Updated: 21/09/2023

- 11:24

Former Top Gear star Perry McCarthy has hit out at the Beeb during an interview with GB News' Dan Wootton

The man who portrayed the iconic Stig on the BBC's Top Gear, Perry McCarthy, has called on the corporation to tell the public what the circumstances were surrounding presenter Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff's crash last year.

Flintoff was involved in a high-speed crash on the set of the programme and the cricketer-turned-BBC-presenter stepped out earlier this month with the resulting facial scars on show.

Since Flintoff's accident, there have been a number of calls for the BBC to axe Top Gear over safety concerns - something former host Steve Berry previously blasted the Beeb for.

Speaking to Dan Wootton, McCarthy - who's previously accused the BBC of a "cover-up" in regards to the crash - has shared his thoughts on the show's future, Flintoff's welfare, and why the Beeb needs to be transparent with what happened and its procedures.

"So, Perry, were there safeguards in place then to prevent the serious sort of accidents we've seen, specifically Freddie Flintoff, whose life seems to have been changed?" Wootton asked McCarthy.

He replied: "You mean back in 2002? No, no. We we kind of got on with it and most of it was in the open airfield and obviously from my background like to think I know what I'm doing a little bit so I could take care of myself.


"But I would imagine because there've been a number of adventures and accidents across the show's history that their health and safety procedures have come up.

"And you would think that there is more support there, but to what level? And clearly, that is the question with poor Freddie's accident and horrible injuries."

When Wootton probed further to ask why McCarthy was critical of his former employer he explained: "I kind of find it pretty bizarre really.

"You know, first off we all wish Freddie well, and judging by the pictures you can only imagine he went through an awful lot of pain.

"So yeah, hats off to Freddie and his enthusiasm and his character and he's one of the people that's really made Top Gear come back to be in a great show.

"But temper enthusiasm, it's got to be tempered sometimes," McCarthy urged. "Freddie's background is a sportsman, he's highly competitive, but it is not driving.

"And sometimes I feel that maybe there's a bit of a need to contain the enthusiasm to protect enthusiastic and talented drivers like Freddie or talented personalities like Freddie from themselves."

Andrew Flintoff England cricket

Andrew Flintoff looked in high spirits as he got to work with England's cricketers earlier this month


He continued: "So everything's conjecture at the moment, Dan. And that's what I'm critical of is why don't we know exactly what has happened?

Wootton weighed in as he accused the corporation of "covering up" whenever "they are in trouble" before he asked McCarthy whether measures should be put in place to try and alleviate the risk and danger posed to presenters.

McCarthy replied: "I'll tell you about risk is that you can try and limit it. You can try and govern it. You can try and contain it, yeah, but you'll never eradicate it.

"Even if you're doing 60 or 70 miles an hour, you won't eradicate it," he stated. "So not to lose the thrill of good presenters on there - sure, you can have them go fast, but it would appear to me as if they're going to need better procedures there.

Andrew Flintoff cricket

Andrew Flintoff returned to work as he continues to recover from injury


"Maybe from somebody from my background, even working with presenters to just say, 'Look guys, this is the wrong time, a wrong place to go quickly,' because something's happened in that accident.

"We've not been told about it, but judging by Freddie's injuries, it appears to me that the car has maybe gone upside down.

"And then it's a question of what kind of crash on it it was using. Because I would never advocate going out with a half-face crash on it. It would always be a full-face crash on it."

McCarthy concluded his point by claiming he thinks he would've spotted any problems with the crash inside Flintoff's car if he was there, should that have been an issue.

He also pointed out: "They [the BBC] did say that they're going to let us know later this year. I don't know if they've noticed, but it's kind of later this year already."

Wootton brought the discussion to a close as he read aloud a statement from the BBC regarding its report into the incident and Top Gear's future on-screen.

"A BBC spokesperson said a decision on the timing of future Top Gear shows will be made in conjunction with BBC content in due course," Wootton said. "The health and safety review of the show has not yet concluded."

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