Wildly popular UK show gets a ‘Friend’ as its new co-hots

When Jeremy Clarkson was dismissed from his Top Gear job for punching one of the show’s producers on the face, it seemed like the popular motoring show was on its deathbed. This perception is however, about to change after it was confirmed that actor Matt LeBlanc was joining the show as one of its presenters.

While Clarkson and his co-presenters made the show highly popular among middle-aged men for their blockish banters and scrapes, which were at times deemed controversial, LeBlanc is likely to attract a new generation of young adults and female fans to the Top Gear show.

LeBlanc’s appointment means that the American actor will now join Chris Evans on the revamped edition of the BBC show, which will hit the screens in May, 2016. The 48-year-old actor, who is popularly known for starring in NBC’s hit comedy Friends as the charming Joey Tribbiani is set to become the first non-British presenter of the show in its 39 years of existence.

Speaking of his new role, LeBlanc said:

“As a car lover and a huge fan of Top Gear, I feel honored and excited to be part of this iconic show.” This came after the soon-to-be fellow presenter, Chris Evans, announced: “Matt is a lifelong petrol head and I’m thrilled he is joining Top Gear.”

While many avid fans of the Top Gear show may not be totally convinced with the inclusion of LeBlanc as a host in the show, they will be quick to remember that LeBlanc has severally appeared in the show as a guest. His most notable appearance was in 2012 when he incredibly became the fastest-ever celebrity on the show’s track while using a reasonably priced KIA C’eed. He finished the lap in 1 minute 42.1 seconds, which remains a record to date.

Additionally, LeBlanc recently appeared on the show to present a spin-off show called Top Gear: The Races in which he led the fans through the most unforgettable racing moments from the show’s past 22 series.

LeBlanc’s appointment as a Top Gear presenter comes at a time when the show requires a popular person who is not only knowledgeable on car matters, but can also relate with worldwide viewers particularly in North America. With LeBlanc’s appointment, it remains to be seen whether the show’s popularity in North America will increase or decline.