Friends star joins Top Gear presenter team

A US actor known for playing Joey in successful TV sitcom Friends will hit UK screens this year, as he joins Chris Evans as a co-presenter on motoring programme Top Gear. 

Golden Globe winning Matt LeBlanc came to prominence in 1987, when he appeared in a commercial for Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The Massachusetts-born actor went on to join the cast of Friends in 1994, playing the part of loveable dimwit Joey Tribbiani for a decade. 

More recently, UK audiences have seen Mr LeBlanc playing a fictional version of himself in BBC’s Episodes, a series about a British show that is adapted for the American market. 

British presenter Chris Evans expressed his delight at the latest Top Gear acquisition, saying “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled.”

The BBC’s acting controller for entertainment commissioning, Alan Tyler, echoed the flame-haired presenter’s sentiments, describing Mr LeBlanc as “a class act and a top signing.” 

Self-professed ‘car-nut’ LeBlanc has appeared on the show twice in the ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ segment. He is also the current record holder for the fastest ever celebrity lap. 

Reports from February 4 confirm that the show’s producers will soon be announcing additional cast members.  

© BBC America

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