Matt LeBlanc on the ‘media sh**storm’ of Top Gear’s relaunch

Matt LeBlanc has opened up about the ‘media sh**storm’ that accompanied his first series of Top Gear. The Friends and Episodes actor helped relaunch the BBC’s car show in 2016, presenting the revamped version of Top Gear alongside Chris Evans, Rory Reid, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan and Sabine Schmitz.

The reviews weren’t great for Top Gear‘s first new-look series (it was the 23rd series overall), with Evans being widely criticised. Evans didn’t end up returning for series 24, leaving LeBlanc and co to take up greater responsibilities.

Looking back on that tumultuous relaunch, LeBland said this: “I didn’t realise I’d be stepping into the middle of a media sh**storm […] I didn’t know [Evans] was leaving.”

“I get along fine with the guy. I read it in the paper”, he added, offering a little insight into the lack of communication behind the scenes. LeBlanc went onto touch upon the expanded role he was given after Evans’ departure.

“I was just there to deliver some jokes and drive some cars [in his first series], he said. “I think the second season, after Chris Evans left, it became more of a collaboration.

“In Chris’s hands, he was the guy in charge, and when he left it became more of a collaboration. Certainly we’re now more productive and more creative.” He also praised the production crew, who “work their asses off” every week.

LeBlanc also admitted that the negative reviews of series 23 did affect him. “Of course you care what critics say”, he admitted. “You don’t want people talkin’ bad about you”.

Top Gear series 25 is currently airing on Sunday evenings on BBC Two.

The Times [H/t Digital Spy]