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Freddie Flintoff on making Top Gear nicer: ‘We’ll have a laugh, but we won’t be nasty’

Freddie Flintoff in Iceland, filming Top Gear
Freddie Flintoff in Iceland, filming Top Gear Credit: BBC Studios

Is Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff the touchy-feely face of a new Top Gear? That was the impression created recently as it was announced that the returning BBC franchise would feature “hugs and nice bits”.

This set alarms blaring among some fans of the series. Top Gear is still, in many ways, perceived as having been created in the image of Jeremy Clarkson. If it isn’t a bit swaggering and boorish, with jeans hitched too high and beer belly showing, what’s even the point?

“I used to watch the old Top Gear and enjoyed it,” nods the former England cricket captain, 41, who, along with comedian Paddy McGuinness, takes over from Friends star Matt LeBlanc as host (motoring journalist Chris Harris returns...

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