Actor Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-year deal with the BBC to host the motoring show "Top Gear," after co-host Chris Evans stepped down after just one series.
BBC Two Editor Patrick Holland said Monday: “I am thrilled Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top Gear. He’s a huge talent whose love of cars is infectious.”
“I can’t wait for the series to return to BBC Two next year,” he added.
Evans’ resignation in July had come in the face of falling ratings, with a steep drop from 4.4 million to 1.9 million viewers during the 23rd series, BBC reported. Despite Evans' departure, the former “Friends” star, 49, is set to be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid. Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig are also expected to make regular appearances.
“Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humor, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show, so I couldn’t be more delighted that he's agreed to come back and do more for us,” said Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios.
There are reports that LeBlanc will be paid around 1.5 million to 2 million pounds ($2 million to $2.5 million) as a part of the deal. Most of the salary is expected to be paid through the broadcaster’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide, the Telegraph reported.