Matt LeBlanc, the 48-year-old actor of Friends fame, will join Chris Evans to co-host Top Gear, BBC has announced.
The American actor will be the first non-British presenter on the motoring programme, which is scheduled to broadcast on BBC Two this May.
“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,” said LeBlanc to BBC. “What a thrill!”
— Matt LeBlanc (@Matt_LeBlanc) February 4, 2016
LeBlanc has already made two previous appearances as a guest on the show. He even topped the popular “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment in 2012, and he holds the record for the fastest ever celebrity lap.
A BBC source said to the Guardian “this takes Top Gear in a new direction. Le Blanc’s presence on the show will also be a boost when selling it internationally, particularly in the US where it is due to air on BBC America.”
It expects LeBlanc’s joining the programme would increase Top Gear’s popularity in the international market, especially with the American audience.
The timing of the host announcement is no coincidence as the BBC Worldwide is set to unveil the new-look show for the first time at its biggest annual event in Liverpool. It aims to makes a significant sales pitch there to over 700 international TV buyers.
It is believed that the programme is set to return with a strong cast. Rumour has it that German race driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris will join LeBlanc on the show.
Sub-editor: Anushka Gurnaney