Matt LeBlanc to co-host BBC’s Top Gear
Staff Reporter | On 04, Feb 2016
The BBC has found its co-host for the reboot of Top Gear – and it’s not who you were expecting.
He has a Golden Globe, seven Emmy nominations and currently holds the record for the fastest ever Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car lap on the show. Yes, it’s Matt LeBlanc off Friends. Yes, really.
The actor, who has always had a thing for objects with four wheels and two wheels, has appeared on the show twice in the past, once in 2012, when he set the celebrity lap record in the Kia C’eed of 1 million and 42.1 seconds, and then again in 2013, when he couldn’t beat his own record in the new Kia. To be fair, nobody else could either: that record still stands four years later.
While on set for his guest appearances, Matt also reportedly spent as much time as he was allowed driving the McLaren 12C supercar around the Top Gear track, accompanied by The Stig.
LeBlanc later fronted a standalone spin-off, Top Gear: The Races, where he led viewers through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.
Now, Joey Tribbiani has graduated from guest to full-time co-presenter – a move that will take fans by surprise. LeBlanc’s appointment marks the first time the show has ever had a non-British host in its 39-year history.
The actor, though, has always demonstrated a sense of humour that’s crucial to hosting Top Gear: after continuing his role of Joey in a standalone sitcom, he then parodied himself by playing, well, himself in the BBC sitcom Episodes, opposite Stephen Mangan. Mangan has already joked that he will play The Stig in the new series.
Still annoyed they made me wear that helmet.
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) February 4, 2016
“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!” said LeBlanc.
“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,” added Evans. “We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year.”
What will the pair of them together look like exactly? Luckily, Digital Spy has come up with a handy video taster:
Top Gear will return to UK TV screens this May, with additional Top Gear cast members to be confirmed shortly. Clarkson, May and Hammond, meanwhile, will soon appear in their own new show on Amazon Prime Video.