Matt LeBlanc, a long-time car enthusiast and former star of the television sitcom Friends, will be the new Top Gear co-host beginning May 8. He will replace former controversial co-host Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC program.
LeBlanc will the first non-British co-host of the program. He has hosted a special version of the program called Top Gear: The Races.
The show’s executives said LeBlanc will help the program attractnew audiences of car enthusiasts.
Top Gear has not been televised since March 2015 when Clarkson was fired after being accused of having an altercation with one of the producers, Oisin Tymon.
Co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond quit when Clarkson’s contract was not renewed. Currently, all three are doing a new car program for Amazon Prime. The three had done the show together for 13 years.
The show will begin to air again with the new hosts, and BBC executives are pleased. The program has about 350 million fans around the world. They hope the popular face of LeBlanc will add to the show’s popularity.
LeBlanc was also in one Top Gear episode, “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.” In the format, a celebrity gets to drive around a race track. LeBlanc clocked the fastest lap time ever.
LeBlanc is also a star in the current BBC Two and Showtime comedy program “Episodes.”
The newly formatted Top Gear will also include Chris Evans at the helm and F1 veteran Eddie Jordan as a presenter.