Matt LeBlanc is making for the exit after BBC Studios confirmed that the Top Gear host will leave after the next season of the motoring format.

LeBlanc, who joined the series in 2016, will leave the BBC Two show after his fourth journey later this year. Presenting alongside Chris Harris and Rory Reid, the Friends star helped steady the Top Gear brand after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May as well as the short-lived appointment of Chris Evans.

Some of LeBlanc’s contributions to the show include building the world’s fastest tractor and helping NASA land a priceless research plane.

The BBC plans to keep the show going after next season and BBC Two controller Patrick Holland revealed that it has “great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond”.

LeBlanc said, “My experience on Top Gear has been great fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team. However, the time commitment and extensive travel required to present Top Gear takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with. It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show. I will forever be a Top Gear fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive.”

BBC Two Controller Holland added: “I want to thank the fabulous Matt LeBlanc for being a brilliant co-host on Top Gear. Matt has thrown himself into the show with real passion, revealing his extraordinary car knowledge and a willingness to get down and dirty. We were always going to be borrowing him from his day job as one of the top comic actors in Hollywood so I wish him all the very best.”