Belfast Telegraph

New Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness vows to embrace cricket

The comic will present the BBC show alongside fellow newcomer and former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff and returning host Chris Harris.

Paddy McGuinness says he will start to follow cricket (BBC/PA)
Paddy McGuinness says he will start to follow cricket (BBC/PA)

Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff has promised to take fellow Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness to the cricket after the comedian admitted he “knows nothing” about the sport.

Football fan McGuinness told the former England cricketer and Ashes winner he would take more interest in the game after joining the BBC motoring show.

Speaking at BBC Studios’ showcase event in Liverpool, the Bolton Wanderers fan said he had been put off cricket as a boy because he had considered it a “bit of a posh sport”.

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Freddie Flintoff celebrates with the Ashes urn in 2009 (Gareth Copley/PA)

He resolved to at least try to learn more so he did not just “switch off” when Flintoff and fellow Top Gear presenter and cricket enthusiast Chris Harris spoke about the sport.

McGuinness told the Press Association: “You know Fred’s a legend in the cricketing world, Chris is a massive fan of cricket, I’m the person who knows nothing about cricket.

“I’m going to be taking a bit more interest for the boys. When they get talking about cricket I just switch off.

“I’ve got to watch it. What’s all that about? 72 for six and one round the back and a googly whatsit, what is that?

“What kind of a game is that? One nil, that’s what we want, lads.”

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Paddy McGuinness after winning Soccer Aid 2016 at Old Trafford (Nigel French/PA)

Flintoff played for Lancashire and is considered one of the sport’s best all-rounders, and was England’s man of the series during the successful 2005 Ashes series.

McGuinness added: “With Freddie, because he’s a working class lad, where I was brought up in Bolton, you just never played cricket because it was considered a bit of a posh sport.

“I never came across it. Maybe I had some sort of subconscious block in my mind against cricket.”

Responding to Flintoff’s offer, he said: “I am willing to be open to it. When they won the Ashes it was all over the news and of course I am proud but I just don’t know the game.”

Press Association

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