Freddie Flintoff looks a bit bashful after he crashed his car into a market stall during high-speed racing for Top Gear.
The former cricketer had a bumpy start to his Top Gear career — losing control of his vehicle while speeding through Mansfield.
Freddie, 41, was filming segment called Le Mansfield in which Freddie, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris were filming a high speed time trial challenge around the town centre.
It is thought to be a spoof on the famous Le Mans 24 hour race and will be shown and according to a source working on the event, the task for the racers was to see “how many laps of the Mansfield circuit they can do in 24 minutes”.
Pictures show Freddie sat on the bonnet of a car that has been in an accident and others showed an empty damaged market stall.
One onlooker said: “Freddie has a lot to learn when it comes to being as good as the Stig behind the wheel.
“He and Paddy have only just started filming but it looks like they are going to get into a few scrapes, just like the previous hosts.”
Freddie and Paddy were announced as the new Top Gear hosts for Series 27 in October last year following Matt Le Blanc’s decision to leave.
The new series starting at the weekend will be Matt’s final fling behind the wheel with Chris Harris.
A BBC studios spokesman said: “During filming in Mansfield town centre, which had been closed off to members of the public for health and safety reasons, Freddie’s electric car struck an unmanned, un-stocked market stall.
"Neither he nor anyone else was hurt and filming completed as planned.”
Top Gear executive producer Clare Pizey backed the decision to bring in Freddie and Paddy whilst giving interviews for the new 26th series.
She said: “They are two British guys who know one another.
"They live close to each other and that is going to be a short hand in itself. We screen tested them with Chris Harris and and we are looking forward to filming.”
When they were announced as the new hosts, Freddie 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.”
In a new interview, show boss Clare Pizey also insisted they looked for woman host but they couldn’t make it work.
She said: “We looked at finding a woman presenter. We did look but you have got to think there’s a spark”
Chris Harris, the one host who is staying on from the old show line up, also admitted he STILL gets abuse everyday for not being Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond or James May, who used to host the show for many years.
Harris said: “I still get a lot of abuse on social media for not being one of the three amigos. I get it every morning.
“And you’re are just walking about and then someone will call you ‘W*****… you’re not Jeremy’.”
He also backed Prince Phillip’s decision to give up driving.
Harris added: “It’s hard to argue that someone who is 97 years old should be driving . It’s the consequences of something going wrong even if minor.”
Top Gear series 26 with Matt Le Blanc starts on Sunday night at 8pm on BBC2. Freddie and Paddy will appear on series 27 at the end of the year.
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