But who will replace him?
Matt LeBlanc has announced he is leaving Top Gear. No, we didn’t see that coming either. The BBC confirmed the American actor, who is best-known for playing Joey in Friends, will be stepping down from the show after the next season airs later this year. LeBlanc first joined Top Gear in 2016 as part of a new presenter lineup replacing Clarkson, Hammond and May, who now front rival show The Grand Tour on Amazon. Since Evans quit the show after just one season the same year, LeBlanc has acted as Top Gear’s lead host alongside Chris Harris and Rory Reid for the past two seasons.
In a statement, LeBlanc said he is leaving the show to spend more time with his friends and family. “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,” he said. “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 Patrick Holland said: “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.” It’s a shame to see LeBlanc leave Top Gear just as the show was starting to hit its stride again. Season 25 was a marked improvement – you could tell the trio enjoyed working together and had developed great on-screen chemistry. Considering he is the second host to quit Top Gear in just four seasons (we try to forget the disastrous Chris Evans-fronted season ever happened), where will the show go from here?
Whatever happens, the BBC confirmed Top Gear will continue without LeBlanc in season 27 next year with a new host. “The next series of Top Gear (Matt’s last) promises to be something very special and we have great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond,” Holland teased. The big question, though, is who will replace him? Let us know your suggestions in the comments.