Viewers said the BBC had “cracked it” as Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness took the wheel on Top Gear.

The cricketer and the TV star joined Chris Harris as hosts as the 27th series of the BBC Two show got started on Sunday night.

The pair signed up to the motoring show after former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc announced in 2018 he would be stepping down after four series.

Fans of the programme were impressed with Flintoff and McGuinness’s first outing in the driving seat. Many said they were the best team since Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were on the show.

“#TopGear have finally cracked it with @flintoff11 @PaddyMcGuinness @harrismonkey. Far better than the last series and already can’t wait to watch next week,” one enthusiastic viewer said on Twitter.

“@BBC_TopGear since clarkson Hammond and may left I have been very critical of top gear but I have to say at last you have nailed it,” said another.

“I can watch this with a smile back on my face, great tv and @harrismonkey is a racing driver #TopGear.”

Another person tweeted: “#TopGear was brilliant tonight will be watching it every week.

“First time have enjoyed since Clarkson and Co left. @PaddyMcGuinness @flintoff11 smashed it.”

“#TopGear what an absolutely hilarious, well presented and entertaining watch that was,” said another fan.

“Back to the top of the charts. Well done and thank you @PaddyMcGuinness @harrismonkey @flintoff11 #crying #comedygold.”

Many viewers noted the chemistry between the hosts.

“#TopGear IT’S BACK! and about blooming time,” posted one fan.

“Taken a while, but at last they have the chemistry just right.

“The boys naturally flowed and had a feel of genuine friendship that didn’t feel wooden or scripted in any way.”

“Brilliant first episode of new #TopGear lineup. Great Ethiopia adventure and genuine chemistry between Harris, McGuiness and Flintoff,” said another.

Top Gear continues on BBC Two.