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BBC extends Matt LeBlanc’s Top Gear journey

Formats-logo-460_2Matt LeBlancUK pubcaster the BBC has confirmed Matt LeBlanc will remain as host of motoring series Top Gear for two years, providing a major boost to the ailing format.

LeBlanc was a hit with viewers in the first season of Top Gear not to feature Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May since 2002, though co-host Chris Evans was forced to quit after a hugely negative reaction to his presenting style.

There were also rumours Evans clashed with producers and LeBlanc.

Joining LeBlanc in the next season of the show are Chris Harris and Rory Reid, with Eddie Jordan and Sabine Schmidt’s roles seemingly lessened, as they will make “regular appearances”.

“Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humour, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show, so I couldn’t be more delighted that he’s agreed to come back and do more for us,” said Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios, which produces Top Gear.

The format is one of the biggest revenue-generators for BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, which has been fending off concerned and criticism of the show that has followed Clarkson’s departure last year.

Clarkson was suspended after an altercation with a producer. He, May and Hammond are now working on The Grand Plan for Amazon Prime Video.