‘Friends’ Star Joins BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ as New Co-Host

And he’s making history

Matt LeBlanc has been chosen as one of the new presenters of the upcoming return of “Top Gear,” BBC America announced Thursday.

LeBlanc’s appointment marks the first time the show has ever had a non-British host in its 39-year history. The Golden Globe-winning star of the popular BBC comedy “Episodes,” LeBlanc is best known for playing aspiring actor Joey Tribianni in the sitcom “Friends.”

He’s already a familiar face to “Top Gear” viewers, having been a two-time guest on the show and the fastest celebrity to date around the “Top Gear” track. LeBlanc also presents the standalone spin-off “Top Gear: The Races,” currently airing on BBC America, where he led fans through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.

“Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining ‘Top Gear,'” fellow host Chris Evans said. “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.”

“As a car nut and a massive fan of ‘Top Gear,’ I’m honored and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter,” LeBlanc said.

The changes follow the exit of longtime host Clarkson, who was fired last March, after an investigation into an assault on producer Oisin Tymon. Clarkson reportedly spent 20 minutes berating Tymon before physically assaulting him during a fracas over the lack of hot food after filming.

Shortly after, Clarkson’s “Top Gear” co-host, James May, said that he wouldn’t return to the show without his colleague, calling the idea a “non-starter” that “just wouldn’t work.”

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