With Matt LeBlanc stepping down from the long-running motoring entertainment series, the BBC has drafted in some new faces.
Paddy McGuinness has been a host on several ITV programmes, including here on Better than the Real Thing
Joining the show are comedian Paddy McGuinness and former Ashes-winning England cricketer Freddie Flintoff, who will present with motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harries.
“It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.” – Freddie Flintoff
Top Gear will return to BBC Two screens with LeBlanc as lead host for the final time early in 2019, before Paddy, Freddie and Chris premiere series 27 later in the year.
Rory Reid is also departing the presenting line-up but will continue as the host of Extra Gear, while Sabine Schmitz is to remain ‘part of the Top Gear family’ too, the beeb say.
American actor Matt LeBlanc has decided to halt his time on Top Gear.
“I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.” – Chris Harries
First presented by Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne, Top Gear began as a regional car show from BBC Birmingham in 1977. Other faces to front the show over the years include Noel Edmonds and Quentin Willson.
The show was, in response to dwindling viewing figures, retooled as a ‘Petrol Heads’ series in 2002 with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May overseeing proceedings until 2015.