Former UK cricketer and current Australian Ninja Warrior presenter Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is joining Top Gear.
Flintoff and comedian Paddy McGuinness will replace outgoing presenter Matt LeBlanc, joining racing car driver Chris Harris.
The all-British team were officially unveiled at a photocall yesterday on the banks of the River Thames in central London, flanked by a red Aston Martin DSB Superleggera and a blue Porsche 911 GT2RS.
Rory Reid is also stepping down from the presenting lineup, but will remain part of the Top Gear family, along with Sabine Schmitz.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “This is a thrilling manoeuvre from the Top Gear team and I’m relishing what this trio will deliver. Both Paddy and Freddie love their cars but more than that, they’ll bring a new energy and competitive spirit to Top Gear. Chris Harris might have the greater car skills, but when it comes to the infamous Top Gear challenges, he’s going to have to bring his A-game to have the beating of these two.”
Paddy McGuinness said: “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this Great British machine and see what it can do!”
Freddie Flintoff added: “It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”
Chris Harris said: “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”
The next series -LeBlanc’s last as lead host- will debut early in 2019 with Flintoff, McGuinness & Harris to premiere Series 27 later in the year.