Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid Exit As Hosts of Top Gear
Chris Harris will now be joined by two relative unknowns in the automotive circleby Kirby, on
Top Gear’s 27th season will have a pair of new faces sitting in hosting chairs after the BBC unveiled Paddy McGuinness and Andrew Flintoff as the show’s new hosts alongside Chris Harris. Matt LeBlanc is leaving the show after the 26th season while Rory Reid is returning as the face of the spin-off show Extra Gear. Harris is expected to inherit the main hosting role from LeBlanc. Filming for the 27th season of the show starts in late 2019.
Matt LeBlanc’s exit from Top Gear isn’t a surprise because the Hollywood actor has made it known in the past that the 26th season of the show would be his last in the hosting chair.
LeBlanc cited travel and commitment issues as the reasons behind his departure from Top Gear.
On the other hand, Rory Reid’s exit as a host of the show comes as a surprise considering he’s been doing a great job at it in his time in that role. It’s unclear why he’s being relegated back to the Extra Gear, but according to the BBC, he “will remain part of the Top Gear family” with Sabine Schmitz.
So, what do we know about the two men replacing LeBlanc and Reid? Not a lot, apparently.
Paddy McGuinness is a British comic who has established a career as a TV host — they call them “presenters” in the U.K. — rising to fame as the host of Take Me Out. McGuinness has also appeared in a number of other British shows, including Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere.
Andrew Flintoff, on the other hand, is a retired cricket player who was forced to retire from the sport after a string of knee injuries derailed his career. In the years since his retirement, Flintoff was able to parlay his fame into a career as a TV host and podcaster for the BBC.
It’s unclear if McGuinness and Flintoff have any experience in the automotive world. Fans of the show, especially here in the U.S., will undoubtedly have a hard time recognizing the two new hosts, especially since they’re replacing one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood in LeBlanc.
Whatever happens, we do wish McGuinness and Flintoff luck in their new careers. Lord knows that their new job is going to be much more difficult than their last ones given the reach and exposure of Top Gear as a global icon. In any case, it’s good that Chris Harris is still on board. If there’s anyone who can fill the shoes left behind by LeBlanc and Reid, it’s him.
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