When Top Gear was forced to reinvent itself following Jeremy Clarkson's tussle with a producer, the BBC announced repeat guest Matt LeBlanc would be joining Chris Evans as one of the programme's new presenters - a job he continued with even after Evans left. Now he's announced he's going to leave show after the next series.
The BBC announced this news yesterday evening, with LeBlanc releasing a statement about his decision to leave the show. He described his time on the show as "great fun", but admitted that "time commitment and extensive travel... takes me away from my family and friends more than I'm comfortable with." Later adding, "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."
That's a fair reason to leave a job, especially after four series worth of work. Having Clarkson, Hammond, and May around for so long was a bit of an anomaly, so you can't always expect presenters to stick around for a decade and a half.
Rory Reid and Chris Harris are still set to present the show, and it's likely the BBC will be beginning a hunt to find a new third wheel that can help present the show. Seeing as how LeBlanc is sticking around for the 26th series, which is probably going to debut next year, there's plenty of time for the BBC to do a thorough search. No jumping onto a new Chris Evans-type simply because they're already on the payroll.
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."