Top Gear has a new friend. The BBC has set Matt LeBlanc to join the revamp of the flagship motoring show when it returns to BBC Two with Chris Evans in May. This is the first time the series has had a non-British host in its 39-year history. The BBC and LeBlanc already have been in business together on BBC Two/Showtime comedy Episodes, which shoots in London. The Golden Globe-winner previously appeared on Top Gear and holds a record as the fastest celebrity ever around the track in its reasonably-priced-car segments. LeBlanc also presented the recent standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races.
He joins the production immediately while additional cast members are to be confirmed shortly. LeBlanc said today, “As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honored and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter.”
Evans, LeBlanc and the new hosts are replacing the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, who exited last year. That followed a headline-making physical altercation between Clarkson and a producer in March. He, Hammond and May later landed at Amazon with a new show to begin this year.
Longtime British radio and TV presenter Evans was revealed as Clarkson’s replacement in June. He appeared at TCA last month where he said Top Gear will not change that much. “We have a huge audience. I don’t want to see the next incarnation of Top Gear, I want the next show. Top Gear is not a single bespoke show” it’s many bespoke shows each year.
LeBlanc’s previous appearances were in Season 18’s episode 2, during which he set a still unbeaten 1 minute, 42.1 second record in the Kia C’eed, and in Season 19’s episode 4.