Matt LeBlanc is leaving Top Gear

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Matt LeBlanc will leave Top Gear at the end of its next season, it’s been revealed. Given that his sitcom Episodes ended in the past year, as well, this is starting to look like a period of significant change in the Friends star’s career.

The 26th series of Top Gear, LeBlanc’s fourth and final stint among the main presenters, will air later this year. Announcing his departure and explaining the reasons behind it, LeBlanc released this statement:

“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 takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with. It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show.”

BBC Two’s controller, Patrick Holland, said this:

“I want to thank Matt, [who] 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.”

Holland has promised that LeBlanc’s final series of Top Gear will be “something special”. He also teased that the Beeb has “great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond.”

We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.