LeBlanc’s appointment marks the first time the show has ever had a non-British host in its 39-year history.
In what promises to be an explosive cocktail of car-obsessed entertainers and cultural clashes – the eagerly anticipated return of the revamped show is expected to noisily announce itself on BBC Two and TV screens everywhere this May.
The Golden Globe-winning star of the popular BBC comedy Episodes, LeBlanc’s international appeal has never been stronger despite filming the finale of his global hit Friends almost 12 years ago. He’s 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. LeBlanc 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.
He joins production immediately and additional Top Gear cast members will be confirmed shortly.
Chris Evans said of his new Top Gear presenter: “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.”
Matt LeBlanc commented: “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!”
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.”