The BBC have announced that Friends and Episodes’ star, American actor Matt LeBlanc, is joining on the new series of the revamped Top Gear when it returns to British television screens in May.
LeBlanc’s will become the first non-British host in the programme’s 39-year history.
“As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill!” – Matt LeBlanc
LeBlanc is already a familiar face to Top Gear viewers, having been a two-time guest on the show and the fastest celebrity to date around the Top Gear track in its reasonably priced car. He also presented the recent standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races, where he led fans through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.
“Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year.” – Chris Evans
Alan Tyler, the BBC’s Acting Controller for Entertainment Commissioning, said: “Matt is a class act and a brilliant signing for Top Gear. He is a self-confessed car fanatic with a passion for the programme. I’m really looking forward to watching Chris and Matt bring the all new show to our audiences.”
Former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond left the series after Clarkson’s contract was not renewed last year. They have since signed up with Amazon to produce and star in a rival motoring show.
Top Gear is scheduled to return in the UK on BBC2 in May.