Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, former England cricket captain, agrees huge BBC payout for Top Gear crash

Cricket great Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff has agreed to a mammoth £9 million ($17.35 million) settlement with the BBC over his Top Gear smash.

The Ashes cricket hero, 45, negotiated a payout understood to be for two years’ loss of earnings after suffering “life-altering” injuries in the horror crash last December.

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The deal — with Top Gear makers BBC Studios — saw Freddie choose not to sue and waive a potentially bigger payout, The Sun reports.

BBC Studios said it had “sincerely apologised to Freddie”, while his legal team said the father of four is still recovering from injuries that were “life-alteringly significant”.

Both parties are said to be “satisfied” with the package and excited to ­continue working together in the future.

A source said: “Fred has been left utterly traumatised and shell-shocked by this entire episode.

“You cannot underestimate the ­physical and mental toll this crash had on him.

“He could have easily sued BBC Studios – and perhaps got considerably more from them – but instead agreed to settle privately, with as little animosity as possible.

“By the time Freddie returns to screens next year at the earliest, he will have lost out on almost two years’ earnings.

“Because of the surgeries he’s had, he may also have to turn down other work – or not be offered it in the first place – which also came into consideration when it came to the final offer.

“Fred is still very much on the road to recovery, however, and at the moment is purely focused on this, his England cricket coaching, and being with his family.

“For Fred, it’s never been about the money.”

Flintoff, seen last month sporting facial injuries while helping out in the England coaching set-up, was interviewed twice during two investigations commissioned by the corporation.

The first cleared the BBC of negligence, with the Health and Safety Executive deciding it did not meet the threshold for further investigation.

However, a second external investigation is thought to be ongoing, though the results may never be published.

Similarly, in terms of the settlement, both parties will likely have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Specific details of the crash at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey – including any potential health and safety failings – may never emerge.

The BBC is also said to have offered a duty-of-care package, including ­therapy.

The payout will not be funded by the licence fee as BBC Studios act as a commercial subsidiary to the Beeb.

The Sun revealed the Top Gear track in Surrey was being bulldozed and the controversy-hit show was to be axed.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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