Former Friends star Matt MeBlanc has penned a £1.5m deal with licence fee payers of the BBC to front up Top Gear for the next two series.
Joining the chisel jawed comedy actor are car journos Chris Harris and Rory Reid, along with regular guests including domineering ex-Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan, pro motor racer Sabine Schmitz and The Stig.
BBC Two editor Patrick Holland said Le Blanc’s “love of cars is infectious” and that he “can’t wait” for the second series to start. He’ll no doubt be crossing fingers, legs and whatever else he can for better viewing figures.
The flagship show was thrown into turmoil in 2015 when professional bloke Jeremy Clarkson punched the producer after he wasn’t able to get a hot meal following a day’s filming, after which he was promptly axed by the corporation. He, along with chums Richard Hammond and James May, is to front a motor show for Amazon.
Reg readers last week voted with their fingers and told world + dog that Clarkson and one of his side-kicks should follow the Great British Bake-Off to Channel4 and form part of that crack presenting team with icy-eyed cake-botherer Paul Hollywood.
Chris Evans, arguably the UK’s most famous ginger man, was chosen to lead Top Gear into a new era but his presenting style didn’t resonate with the audience and ratings crashed to an all-time low of 1.9 million. By contrast, 6.9 million people tuned in to watch Clarkson & Co’s last episode. ®