Matt LeBlanc is set to join Chris Evans in hosting the new Top Gear when it returns to BBC and BBC America in May.
According to a network release, LeBlanc’s appointment marks the first time that the series has had a non-British host in its 39-year history. However, the former Friends actor is no stranger to the BBC: he also stars in Episodes, a British-American sitcom that airs on BBC Two in the U.K. and on Showtime in the U.S., and LeBlanc has even twice appeared on Top Gear. Appearing in the series’ Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, LeBlanc holds the record for fastest lap time.
“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 in a statement. “What a thrill!”
Added his co-presenter, Evans (not to be confused with Captain America): “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year.”
The beloved series hit a speedbump last March when longtime host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended following an alleged “fracas” that occurred between himself and a producer. Following an internal investigation, it was decided that the BBC would not renew his contract. His co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, quit out of solidarity, and Evans was announced as one of the new hosts last June. However, the trio — who had been presenting the series together for 13 years — will reunite in a new series for Amazon Prime. Not yet titled, it will debut on the streaming service sometime this year.