This morning, some startlingly out-of-the-blue news arrived: After months of speculation over who would join Chris Evans in presenting the new, rebooted series of Top Gear, the BBC finally revealed that his first co-host is… Matt LeBlanc. Yeah, you read that right. The actor, best known for playing Joey Tribianni in the popular US sitcom Friends, is now a confirmed cast member of the popular motoring programme. Having had some time to process such a bizarre turn of events, our writers have come together to discuss exactly what they think about Top Gear‘s latest appointment.
“Matt LeBlanc is best known as a comedy actor, but that doesn’t meant that he, himself, is necessarily funny. So I don’t know how the wit and sarcasm that everyone loved about Top Gear will work. Also he’s American – I can’t help but feel like this is a ploy by the BBC to gain larger viewership in the US and aboard. Also does he even have ANY presenting experience?” – Georgia Simpson, Head of Relations.
“I feel that the great thing about the original Top Gear was how British the trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May were – it’s a British show and the BBC should have kept it that way.” – Alex Howard, writer.
“Wait, this is like… A permanent thing? The previous three worked because you could clearly see a friendship. This just looks like two celebrities thrown together… Is he that in need of work?” – Carly May Kavanagh, writer.
“He probably won’t be awful…. but it still seems weird.“ – Anneka Honeyball, News Editor.
“I’m just really rather confused.“ – Rehana Nurmahi, writer.
“This is just… so bizarre. Is this a dream? Did I even get out of bed this morning? Maybe I’m still asleep. Then again, I don’t think even my subconscious could come up with a combination as far out of the left field as this one…” – Millie Cassidy, Features Editor.
“LeBlanc may not seem a likely Top Gear host, but neither did Angela Rippon and Noel Edmonds, who starred in the show way back in the 1970’s and 80’s. Top Gear as a BBC motoring institution – though renowned for its last decade of Clarkson, Hammond, and May being at least moderately oafish with occasional hints of petrol – is nearly 40 years old. After the debacle of last year, perhaps it is due a new chapter.“ – Xavier Voigt-Hill, writer.
The Verdict: Though we loved him as Joey, there’s something about a partnership between LeBlanc, Evans and the British institution of Top Gear that just doesn’t sit quite right with us.