Matt LeBlanc has announced that he will be quitting Top Gear.
After three seasons of hosting the BBC show, LeBlanc announced that he would be leaving.
“My experience on Top Gear has been great fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team. However, the time commitment and extensive travel required to present Top Gear takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with,” he said in a statement, according to Metro. “It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show. I will forever be a Top Gear fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive.”
Patrick Holland, BBC Two controller, also commented on LeBlanc’s exit.
“I want to thank the fabulous Matt LeBlanc for being a brilliant co-host on Top Gear. Matt has thrown himself into the show with real passion, revealing his extraordinary car knowledge and a willingness to get down and dirty. We were always going to be borrowing him from his day job as one of the top comic actors in Hollywood, so I wish him all the very best,” he said. “The next series of Top Gear (Matt’s last) promises to be something very special and we have great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond.”
LeBlanc joined the series as host in 2016 alongside Chris Evans, later signing a deal with BBC to bring him back for two additional years. He joined Rory Reid and Chris Harris, along with The Stig, Eddie Jordan, and Sabine Schmitz, who made regular appearances.
The former Friends and Episodes star’s exit follows Chris Evans’ 2016 exit after only six episodes of the newly rebooted series.
“Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best,” Evans announced in a tweet.
At the time, it was rumored that Evans’ exit came as a result of he and LeBlanc not working well together, with tabloids reporting that LeBlanc had threatened to step down if his co-host did not leave the show.
However, Evans claimed those rumors untrue and called LeBlanc "the man" and a "total mensch" after working with him.0comments
Since his time on the show, LeBlanc has frequently commented on the importance of the presenters, claiming that the “relationship between the presenters is a key part” of the series. He also stated his wishes for the show to continue for several more years.
“If we’re making flying cars, I’m sure Top Gear will be talking about that. It’s a very strong brand. There will always be a place for it because human beings have a strong sense of independence, and the car gives you that. You start the car on your driveway and suddenly you’re the master of your own destiny,” he said.