It’s a strange time to be a “Top Gear” fan as the show is set to switch things up following the highly controversial exit of former host Jeremy Clarkson. Now, it seems one very popular American star has been tapped to co-host the show when it returns in May.
Former “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc will become the show’s first non-British host in its nearly four decades on the air. The host will join fellow “Top Gear” newcomer Chris Evans, who was selected to help take over the show after the former hosts Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left the show after Clarkson allegedly got angry and physical with a producer. Although LeBlanc and Evans will take over the BBC Two series, the previous hosting trio have signed on to do a similar auto show for Amazon.
“Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining ‘Top Gear,’” Evans said in a statement to the BBC. “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.”
LeBlanc marks a smart choice for the show as he’s a recognizable face in the U.S., where the show will be aired on BBC America. In addition, he’s not an unfamiliar presence in the U.K. as his Golden Globe-winner performance in Showtime’s “Episodes” airs on the same network as Top Gear there.
In addition to his acting work, the 48-year-old “Friends” star has been a welcomed presence on “Top Gear” as a guest twice before. As the Verge, notes, he’s appeared on the show’s regular segment “Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car,” and holds the very impressive title of having the fastest celebrity lap of anyone else.
According to Forbes, LeBlanc will not be the last star that the popular BBC series brings on to replace the previous hosts. Rumors indicate that not only will more names be added to the show’s presenter list very soon, but fans can expect more than three names to bill the series, likely in an effort to separate it fully from the old show.
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