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Paddy McGuinnessFreddie Flintoff and Chris Harris are about to return for the newest season of Top Gear, and according to Chris, part of the show’s popularity is all thanks to Freddie being good ‘eye candy’.

This year, the hosts have travelled to Norway and to Florida, where they swamp buggy race through an alligator-infested swamp, cruise around Florida in the savage Top Gear RV (and with Paddy in some pretty quirky shirts) and go head-to-head in classic American muscle cars in Miami.

However, despite the car-based show traditionally bringing in one audience type, things seem very different now.

Explaining the different audience types that tune into the show for very different reasons, Chris shared: ‘Dads like me and Paddy because he’s funny and I can drive a bit, and mums like Freddie because he’s the eye candy.

‘For the next series, we are going to get him in some Speedos and oil him up,’ he joked to The Sun.

Paddy added: ‘Freddie is the reason why more women than ever are watching Top Gear — that’s absolutely true.’

The lads are on tour again for Top Gear series 32 (Picture: BBC)

The boys are back! (Picture: BBC)

Although Freddie may be good ‘eye candy’, over the last seasons the former international cricketer has brought far more to the show, leaving viewers in hysterics at times and taking on the thrilling challenges that the other two hosts stay away from.

Last year, an awkward blunder left Freddie (and viewers) giggling, when the sports star-turned presenter was left red-faced when asked: ‘Are you a fan of cricket?’

Freddie is one of the country’s most famous cricket players (Picture: Marco Luzzani/Getty)

He was then asked what team he supports, to which he answered: ‘Chennai Super Kings,’ a franchise cricket team based in India.

The fan was buzzing and fist pumped the air, referring to Freddie as ‘my guy,’ but his happiness quickly turned to surprise when Freddie asked if he was a ‘big fan’.

When the fan confirmed that he was, Freddie revealed that he once had actually played for Chennai Super Kings. ‘Really?’ replied the cricket fan, with a wide-eyed expression, clearly recognising the blunder he made.

It was an awkward moment! (Picture: BBC)

This series is set to bring just as much entertainment, and thrills, especially in one challenge which leaves Freddie hurtling at 60mph with his head on the ice when his bobsleigh tips over on an Olympic track.

Testing out one of the late Sir Clive Sinclair’s most iconic creations: the Sinclair C5, Freddie takes it on an eccentric adventure, as he attempts to break the national speed limit whilst piloting the C5 down an Olympic bobsleigh run.

And it appears to have been just as scary as it sounds.

Freddie was practicing to break the 60mph limit when he tipped over on the ice (Picture: BBC)

Speaking to and other press about preparing for the thrilling moment, Freddie shared: ‘I landed on my head and turned [the bobsleigh] over.

‘I was practicing and I’d not been down many times, and I was coming round to the last corner and my foot slipped off the [pedal], and then rather than keeping my eyes on where I was going, I thought “What’s that?” and the next thing, my head was on the ice, and I had to push over to upright myself.’

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Paddy, who wasn’t there to witness Freddie’s fall at the time, admitted that he and Chris wouldn’t be taking on adventures like that.

He said: ‘Chris and I don’t do all the challenges Freddie does because we are rational human beings!

‘The producers don’t even put them to us. I think they just have a pile on the desk, the “Freddie pile”, of stuff most people wouldn’t even think of doing. To be fair to Fred, I’ve never seen him turn anything down. He always gives it a go.’

Top Gear returns to BBC One on Sunday, June 5 at 8pm.

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