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Matt LeBlanc Joins 'Top Gear' After Jeremy Clarkson's Sacking

by Alexander Smith /  / Updated 
Matt LeBlanc with "Top Gear" co-host Chris Evans and the show's masked driver, The Stig.BBC

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LONDON — Matt LeBlanc has some new friends.

The TV star was named Thursday as one of the new co-hosts of the BBC's wildly popular show "Top Gear."

LeBlanc joins a revamped line-up in wake of former host Jeremy Clarkson's firing over what the BBC called an "unprovoked physical attack" on a producer.

Matt LeBlanc with "Top Gear" co-host Chris Evans and the show's masked driver, The Stig.BBC

The former "Friends" star, 48, will be the first non-British host in the 39-year history of the show, which has an estimated global audience of 350 million.

"As a car nut and a massive fan of 'Top Gear,' I'm honored and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill!" LeBlanc said in a statement released by the BBC.

Despite his new leading role, LeBlanc is no stranger to "Top Gear." In 2012 he set the fastest-ever lap in show's "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment, which features celebrities driving around a race track in a Kia C’eed.

LeBlanc also presented the show's spin-off "Top Gear: The Races."

LeBlanc will join British media personality Chris Evans on the revamped program, which the BBC said will "noisily announce itself" on British television in May this year.

"Top Gear" was temporarily pulled from the air in March last year after the incident involving its main host, Clarkson.

Clarkson was sacked and an internal BBC investigation found he had punched producer Oisin Tymon and subjected him to a verbal tirade including "the strongest expletives and threats to sack him."

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