Matt LeBlanc joins Top Gear

American actor Matt LeBlanc has been revealed as one of the new presenters of Top Gear, which is set to return to our screens in the autumn.

LeBlanc becomes the first non-British host of the world’s favourite motoring programme, in an announcement that ends months of speculation as to who would line up alongside Chris Evans. He joins the team with immediate effect, with the BBC saying other cast members will be confirmed shortly.

Chris Evans said: “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.”

For his part, Matt LeBlanc – who is no stranger to Top Gear – 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!”

Matt LeBlanc a ‘class act and a brilliant signing’

Alan Tyler, the BBC’s acting controller for entertainment commissioning, said: “Matt is a class act and a brilliant signing for Top Gear. He is a self-confessed car fanatic with a passion for the programme. I’m really looking forward to watching Chris and Matt bring the all new show to our audiences.”

LeBlanc is perhaps best known for playing Joey Tribbiani in Friends, which was almost as popular as Top Gear. He twice appeared on the ‘old’ Top Gear, and he’s the current undisputed champion of the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, having set a lap record of 1m 41.2s in the Kia cee’d.

Within minutes of BBC making the announcement, Top Gear was trending on Twitter. The question is, who will follow LeBlanc into the Top Gear studio?

More news shortly…