Matt LeBlanc Is Leaving 'Top Gear' After Four Seasons

BBC America

U.S. actor Matt LeBlanc has announced he will leave his co-host role on the British docu-series Top Gear later this year.

Best known for his acting roles on Friends, Episodes and Man with a Plan, LeBlanc has appeared on Top Gear for four seasons, beginning in 2016. He has a 14-year-old daughter with his ex-wife, model Melissa McKnight.

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"My experience on Top Gear has been great fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team," LeBlanc said in a statement Friday. "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."

"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," added Patrick Holland from BBC Two.

LeBlanc has been co-hosting with British television personality Chris Harris. Season 26 of the show will be his last.

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was fired from the series about three years ago after a dust-up with a producer, and his longtime co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond refused to go on without Clarkson, paving way for the new team of Top Gear stars.

Clarkson, May and Hammond are now working on Amazon's similarly themed reality show The Grand Tour.

By Karen Butler

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.