Matt LeBlanc joins Chris Evans as co-host for BBC 'Top Gear' revamp

The "Friends" actor will be the first non-British host in the history of the motoring show, which is being rebooted by the BBC following the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson last year.

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LeBlanc (left) looking smart-casual next to "Top Gear" host Chris Evans (centre).

Photo by BBC


"Hey, it's Porsch-ah!" US TV star Matt LeBlanc has been confirmed as a new host of the BBC's "Top Gear".

LeBlanc is best known to Brits and US viewers alike for his portrayal of the dunderheaded actor Joey Tribbiani on NBC sitcom "Friends", but he will join Chris Evans as a co-host on the popular motoring show. "Top Gear" is currently in the process of being rebooted after previous host Jeremy Clarkson was fired. The new series is set to arrive in May.

LeBlanc, who presented standalone spin-off show "Top Gear: The Races" and has appeared on the show twice before as a "star in a reasonably priced car", will join production "immediately", the BBC said in a statement. It also hinted that additional cast members will be announced "shortly".

"Friends" ended 12 years ago, but LeBlanc has appeared in other shows since, most notably the ongoing BBC/Showtime sitcom "Episodes", in which he plays an exaggerated version of himself.

Along with "Doctor Who", "Top Gear" is one of the BBC's most profitable programmes. But its future was thrown into jeopardy in March 2015, when controversial host Jeremy Clarkson's contract was not renewed after punching a producer when he was told he couldn't have a steak after a day of filming.

Co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May followed Clarkson out of the door, and along with ex-"Top Gear" producer Andy Wilman have now signed up to produce a new online-only show for the streaming service Amazon Video. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has previously said that signing the trio was "very, very, very expensive."

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