Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear (without Chris Evans)

Confirmed: Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear (without Chris Evans)

Actor Matt LeBlanc has signed a deal with the BBC to host the next two series of Top Gear – without help from Chris Evans, who stood down from the show after just one series.

Chris Harris and Rory Reid will continue to front BBC Three show Extra Gear, while Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig will still make regular appearances.

In a statement issued this morning, BBC Two’s channel editor, Patrick Holland, said: “I am thrilled that Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top Gear. He’s a huge talent whose love of cars is infectious. I can’t wait for the series to return to BBC Two next year.”

The show – dubbed Flop Gear by some disappointed fans – saw ratings drop during the last series to an all-time low of 1.9 million viewers.

“Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humour, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show,” added Mark Linsey, BBC Studios director.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that he’s agreed to come back and do more for us.”

LeBlanc, who is known for playing Joey in Friends, caused outrage earlier in the year when he was spotted doing donuts in a Mustang close to the Cenotaph in Central London.

At the time, Chris Evans had to issue an apology for the stunt.

The show will be taking on Jeremy Clarkson’s new show, The Grand Tour, which is due to air on Amazon Prime’s on-demand service in November.

Web editor at Drives a 1983 Austin Metro. Tweet me @MR_AndrewBrady.

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