We are all used to seeing him hanging out at Central Perk, but Matt LeBlanc’s new appointment as Top Gear presenter will welcome him back to our screens in a very different role. Who knows if we’ll ever stop thinking of him as Joey from Friends, but Chris Evans’ new co-presenter will be joining the re-launch of the BBC’s most popular motoring show, to reveal a new feel and look to the Top Gear legacy.
With the news revealed last Thursday, the former Friends star has been overwhelmed by the response and is “looking forward to smashing up some cars” with his co-host. After his spin-off series, Joey, being a slight disappointment to Friends fanatics (myself included), his comeback to the television screen has been long awaited. Having appeared on the show in 2012, LeBlanc reigns as champion of the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment of the show, proving his worthiness to an audience that will surely put him under scrutiny when the show airs this May.
The announcement came at a crucial time for the show, with its loyal audience heavily doubting whether Top Gear will survive without the likes of Clarkson, May and Hammond. Who have all moved across to Amazon’s new, un-named series that is expected to launch in the autumn. The BBC revealed the election of LeBlanc “will be a boost when selling internationally, particularly in the US, where it is due to air on BBC America.” Bringing into question whether Top Gear will become yet another Americanised series, that loses all of its British roots. We have seen it happen before with the X Factor, Skins and The Office. Top Gear could very easily be another addition to that list.
Not only has the TV show made the switch to BBC Two for the upcoming fifth series, it seems that the choice of presenters is giving the show a new direction when it comes to humour and expertise. Fans of the programme have already been questioning its future after pictures were revealed of Evans throwing up after test-driving a car, leading to the worry that he may suffer from car sickness. A comical statement in itself! Although LeBlanc’s character in Friends provided us with infinite laughs, his humour may not appeal to the masses and I am especially doubtful of the reception he will receive by uncompromising motoring fans.
As the first non-British presenter on the show, LeBlanc has a long-lived legacy to live up to and who knows how many more additions are yet to be revealed. Speculations are arising around possible co-hosts, including German racer Sabine Schmitz, and motor journalist Chris Harris. I can’t help but question if the BBC are attempting to recreate another Top Gear trio, and if they are will the show end up being an unsuccessful knock-off?
Image: www. fullcelebrity.com.