MATT LEBLANC is to leave Top Gear after the next series, BBC Studios has announced.
The Friends star first joined the motoring show as a permanent host in 2016 when it was relaunched with Chris Evans following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
Evans left after one series, with LeBlanc taking on the main hosting duties alongside Rory Reid and Chris Harris.
LeBlanc said: “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 to present Top Gear 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. I will forever be a Top Gear fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive.”
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said: “I want to thank the fabulous Matt LeBlanc for being a brilliant co-host on Top Gear.
“Matt 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.
“The next series of Top Gear (Matt’s last) promises to be something very special and we have great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond.”
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