Matt LeBlanc will host the next two seasons of Top Gear, the BBC has confirmed.
In a statement announcing details about season 24, which starts next year, the BBC confirmed that “LeBlanc will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid, with regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig”.
Both Harris and Reid will continue hosting the spin-off show Extra Gear as well.
The BBC’s flagship motoring show was rebooted after former host Jeremy Clarkson was let go in the middle of season 22, after it was revealed that he was involved a “fracas” with a producer. In the aftermath, Richard Hammond and James May, along with producer Andy Wilman, saw out their contracts and left the corporation too.
The revised Top Gear debuted this year with radio DJ Chris Evans at the helm. After an initial wave of interest, ratings fell to record lows. In July, Evans announced his departure from the show, stating that despite giving it his “best shot … sometimes that’s not enough”.
Above: Top Gear cast for season 23 with (from left to right) Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, and The Stig.
Industry observers believe that the BBC moved to confirm LeBlanc’s services after news broke last week that it was losing one of its signature shows, The Great British Bake Off, to Channel 4, a rival government broadcaster.
The BBC’s contract with LeBlanc, a car enthusiast and former star of Friends, was due to expire soon.
Despite that the fact that the BBC’s latest royal charter requires it to fully disclose the salaries of employees earning over 150,000 pounds ($260,000), LeBlanc’s wages won’t be revealed.
While many of the other shows that air on the BBC are funded via a television licence fee, Top Gear is primarily funded by BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s global for-profit publishing and syndication arm, and therefore exempt from this new rule.
MORE: Top Gear news