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Matt LeBlanc Makes History in New “Top Gear” Role


© TopGear.com(NEW YORK) — Matt LeBlanc is known in the U.S. for being a cast member of the hit sitcm Friends, a show that’s also very popular in the U.K.  But there, he’s about to make history with another TV show.

LeBlanc is the first non-British host of Top Gear, the wildly popular, high-octane, adrenaline-pumping car show that airs stataeside on BBC America.

“I would watch the show before and say, ‘That looks so fun and I’d love to be a part of that,’ and here I am now,” LeBlanc told ABC News’ Lama Hasan. “It’s a car show for petrol heads, obviously, but it’s also got a bit of travel in it. You’ve got a bit of culture in it. It’s got a bit of comedy in it.”

Top Gear pairs LeBlanc with British TV and radio star Chris Evans, who compared his partnership with LeBlanc to another famous TV duo.

“I think we’re like Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street,” Evans joked.

Another star of the show is The Stig, an enigmatic race car driver who’s always clad in a white racing coverall, gloves and full-face helmet, whose identity is a closely-guarded secret and whose skills make him seem almost super-human.

“I kind of get lured into this, you know, his world,” LeBlanc said of The Stig. “There’ve been a couple of times during the shooting of these things I’ve been like, ‘Okay that’s, er, dangerous.”

It’s not LeBlanc’s first time on Top Gear.  A speed enthusiast himself, LeBlanc set a record four years ago when he posted the top lap speed ever during the show’s trademark “Celebrity in a Reasonably-Priced Car” challenge.

Shooting Top Gear has already taken LeBlanc and Evans to South Africa, Morocco, northern England, France, Kazakhstan, Italy and Cuba.

“It just keeps getting better and better and better,” LeBlanc said.

The new season of Top Gear premieres on BBC America May 3.

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