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Matt LeBlanc joins BBC's Top Gear

The first non-Brit to host the series in 39 years

The future of Top Gear at the BBC has been contentious, but it looks like the network has found a new friend to help smooth out the transition.

Matt LeBlanc, best known for his work on NBC's Friends and Showtime's Episodes, will join England's Chris Evans in hosting the popular car show, the BBC announced on Thursday.

LeBlanc will be the first non-English host the show has had in 39 years and, according to the BBC, will be joined by other cast members that they'll reveal shortly.

"As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I'm honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show's new chapter," LeBlanc said in the press release. "What a thrill!"

LeBlanc joining the show may be exactly what the new Top Gear series needs following its calamitous history with former host Jeremy Clarkson.

Clarkson, one of Top Gear's most notorious figures, was effectively fired from his position after he allegedly assaulted a BBC employee. Clarkson, who'd been a constant headache for the network following repeated racist comments and digs at other countries, then joined Amazon with former co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May to essentially recreate the show for the streaming service.

The BBC is hoping that with a string of new talent and a reformatted show, they can maintain the same massive numbers. Top Gear was one of the highest rated shows in the world for years and became a staple program for the BBC.

The biggest change for Top Gear is the type of presenter the show will now have. Both LeBlanc and Evans are known for their television personalities. They're self-proclaimed "petrol-heads," but they're not entrenched in the world of mechanics in the way Clarkson, May and especially Hammond were.

It's seems like an attempt to make the show even more accessible to a casual audience and pick up a new batch of viewers that the original Top Gear may have neglected.

The new version of the show is set to debut sometime in May. Old episodes are available to stream on Netflix right now.

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