Andrew Flintoff has been many a sports presenters delight as a cricketer, a professional boxer, footballer and then in the racing arena. Donning many hats as a true all-rounder, the former England cricket team captain is set for yet another professional stint. This time as a presenter for the BBC automobile show Top Gear.
The British broadcaster has confirmed the news. Paddy McGuinness and Andrew Flintoff will be the new presenters of Top Gear, the BBC has announced. The pair will take over from Matt LeBlanc, after he steps down from presenting duties at the end of the next series.
The former England cricket captain along with the comedian will join existing presenter and former racing driver Chris Harris to complete the new-look Top Gear line-up.
Filming for the 27th series of the BBC Two show will begin in early 2019.
Even as Flintoff is set to make his Top Gear debut, the former England captain is not new to broadcast presentation business. He currently presents the podcast Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy for BBC Radio 5 Live, alongside Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed.
Rory Reid, who joined the Top Gear team after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, will no longer have a main presenting role.
Ashes-winning former cricket captain Flintoff said: “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.”
The next series of Top Gear – LeBlanc’s last as lead host and 26th overall – will begin early in 2019 on BBC Two, before Paddy, Freddie and Chris take over later in the year.
Flintoff had quit cricket in 2013 with a recurring knee injury and currently presents the podcast Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy for BBC Radio 5 Live, alongside Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed.
It is unclear whether he will continue to host the award-winning show, which has helped him cement his new career as a presenter and broadcaster.
He has also previously been a team captain on Sky’s A League of their Own. Flintoff has also avoided a ban on several occasions after being caught speeding. In 2014, it was claimed a ban would have an adverse effect on his extensive charity work.
The cricket all-rounder was also stripped of his position as England vice-captain following a drunken escapade on a pedalo in the Caribbean during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in St Lucia.