Matt LeBlanc signs new deal with the BBC to host ‘Top Gear’

Co-host Chris Evans stepped down from the motoring show earlier this summer

Matt LeBlanc has signed a new deal with the BBC to host the next two series of Top Gear.

The Friends and Episodes star will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid with regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig.

Co-host Chris Evans stepped down from the motoring show after one series, in the summer.

“I am thrilled Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top Gear. He’s a huge talent whose love of cars is infectious,” BBC2 editor Patrick Holland told BBC News. “I can’t wait for the series to return to BBC2 next year.”

LeBlanc recently said he was uncertain whether he would return to the show for a second series.

Although the first series was met with universally poor reviews and struggled in the ratings when it was screened in June, LeBlanc was cited as its major success.

However, LeBlanc cast doubt on whether he will continue with the motoring series when it was confirmed he will be appearing in a new US sitcom, Man With Plan. “I’m not sure what’s happening with Top Gear just yet. But this is my priority,” he said at the time.

Studio bosses at the CBS network, which is making Man With Plan, have an agreement with the BBC that they will accommodate LeBlanc’s Top Gear role and allow him time off to film future series.

But, asked if he will definitely return to Top Gear, LeBlanc responded: “I don’t know. I’d like to. There’s nothing officially happening just yet. You’d have to call the BBC and ask them.”

LeBlanc will also return for a fifth series of Episodes, the BBC2 sitcom in which he plays an exaggerated, egotistical version of himself opposite Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig as put-upon British screenwriters Sean and Beverly Lincoln. The new series will be the show’s last.