Friends star Matt LeBlanc is new BBC Top Gear host

Matt LeBlanc with his new co-host Chris Evans and Top Gear’s famous Stig test-driver

Friends actor Matt LeBlanc will co-host the new version of BBC show Top Gear, the broadcaster revealed today.

The star, who played Joey Tribbiani in Friends, had been on the hugely popular car show twice previously and holds the record for the fastest lap ever driven around its famous track by a celebrity.

He will join British television and radio presenter Chris Evans as a co-host after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

Matt LeBlanc’s appointment will be the first time ever that the show has had a non-British host since it began 39 years ago.

He said: “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. What a thrill!”

Chris Evans added: “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.”

It’s thought there will also be a third presenter on the show, but it’s not yet known who that will be.

The move comes after the BBC refused to renew Clarkson’s contract following his attack on a presenter while filming the show in March last year. His co-hosts May and Hammond also subsequently left and the trio were bought up by Amazon to present a new rival car show on the firm’s Prime streaming service.

No name or premiere date for that show has yet been released. The BBC version is set to air in May this year.

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