Freddie Flintoff says he was “embarrassed” by how competitive he was on Top Gear: “I had to have a chat with myself”

The former cricketer said that competitiveness can bring both the best and the worst out of him.

Top Gear series 28

The rapport between the presenters has always been a key part of the Top Gear dynamic – and with that rapport comes a certain degree of competitiveness.

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And according to host Freddie Flintoff, he went so far in his attempts to win a challenge in the upcoming new series that he had to have a word with himself afterwards.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at a live screened Q&A ahead of the new series, the former cricketer said, “When you talk about competition, it can bring the best out of me but it can also bring the worst out of me as well.

“I’ve just got to temper it a little bit. And I forgot myself in one of the films, in one episode we had the car equivalent of musical chairs and I took Chris (Harris) out quite badly because I was determined to win.

“And afterwards, I’m not going to lie, I had to go and have a chat with myself because I was a little bit embarrassed with my behaviour.

“So I just have to temper it a little bit from time to time, but there’s always cheating going on there’s always trying to find an angle, but it is done in the best of humour.”

Since he started as a presenter in 2019, Flintoff has always been keen to properly throw himself into the challenges – and that’s no different this time round.

In one episode, he drives a classic car at 200MPH on a runway, something which he described as one of his most fun experiences inside a car.

“I’ve driven fast in newer cars and it’s a lot easier, but in that thing everything moves it was shaking – I felt like Marty McFly in Back to the Future!” he said.

“And also at that place last series I had a bit of an off, I went off the end of the runway when I couldn’t stop so I was wary of that when I was breaking late.

“But I think it’s one of the most fun experiences i’ve had in a car, just getting the opportunity to do it in a car which I remember coming out in the late 80s early 90s. To get the chance to drive it was one thing but at 200MPH was unbelievable.”

And thrilling though that might have been, Flintoff says he thinks the challenges are only going to get tougher in future series of the show, and he envisages there might come a time where he has to refuse a challenge.

“So far there’s been nothing that I’ve said no to but that might change, because I did the bungee in the last series and it seems the challenges get more and more,” he said.

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“I think we’re pushing the boundaries all the time, and I hope there’ll come a time where I say no, because that’ll mean we’ve moved on and on and on to something which you think ‘I’m not fancying’ that – but so far I’m all right with it.”

Top Gear returns for series 29 on Sunday 4th October on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.