Who Can Replace Matt LeBlanc as Host of Top Gear? We Look at Five Good Candidates
We’d love to see any one of these guys host Top Gearby Kirby Garlitos, on
Matt LeBlanc’s departure from Top Gear opens up arguably one of the most desirable jobs in all of television. Some of the world’s biggest celebrities have openly expressed their desire for the job. Unfortunately, it’s one thing to aspire to host the show; it’s another thing to actually sign up for it and work the schedule. If the latter wasn’t an issue, LeBlanc would still be the host of the show. But alas, his departure opens up a number of possibilities on who could fill in as his successor. We take a look at five good candidates that can do it. They’re not necessarily in the running, but they could fill the void left behind by Joey Tribbiani.
Our personal favorite to replace Matt LeBlanc. No one’s going to question Atkinson’s knowledge about cars. He’s got the sense of humor to breathe life into his own hosting style. Most importantly, he’s already based in the U.K. so travel time isn’t an issue. That, and he doesn’t appear to have as busy a schedule as Matt LeBlanc. The only potential downside to Atkinson becoming the full-time host of Top Gear is that he isn’t as boisterous and as potentially over-the-top as LeBlanc and Jeremy Clarkson. Still, I’d watch Top Gear with none other than Mr. Bean hosting it. Should make for a funny and informative show, at the very least.
Jerry Seinfeld belongs in the same category as Rowan Atkinson. He’s one of the funniest people on television, and he’s one of the most well-known car collectors in the world. You’re not going to question Seinfeld’s knowledge about cars because he’s proven that he can talk about the subject on a level that falls under the requirements of a Top Gear host. He’s funny as heck, too, though his humor probably isn’t the type that’s going to go over well with the British audience. That’s one of the issues we could see that could potentially derail Seinfeld from getting this gig. The most pressing issue, though, is his availability. He just signed a deal with Netflix last year that includes episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, two stand-up specials, and a possible non-scripted comedy programming. If LeBlanc’s schedule forced him to leave Top Gear, it could be the same thing with Seinfeld.
Jodie Kidd doesn’t have the name recognition of Rowan Atkinson or Jerry Seinfeld, but the 39-year old British model and TV personality arguably has better auto-related credentials than the two men before her. Kidd is an accomplished race car driver, most notably taking part in a number of Gumball 3000 races. Kidd’s credentials as a viable host of Top Gear became evident when she was tipped to become the co-host of the show with Chris Evans before ultimately taking herself out of the running, saying that she wanted time out of the spotlight. Well, she hasn’t done much in the three years since so maybe all that time away could change her mind.
Guy Martin is another one of our favorites because the dude exudes personality. He’s the type of guy who’ll say anything, so there’s an element of unpredictability to him too. He’s also experienced in the world of hosting auto-related content, having starred in the show Speed, which involved him trying to break different speed records in different vehicles. Martin has the potential to work well with Harris and Reid, and Top Gear could even set it up in a way that all three hosts have equal billing. It’s a different approach from what has made the show successful, but at this point, it could definitely work given the personalities that Martin, Harris, and Reid bring to the table.
This seems like an unlikely choice considering the fact that Patrick Dempsey fits the same mold as Matt LeBlanc, who just quit because of distance and scheduling commitments. But, if Top Gear really wants to get a famous celebrity with serious auto and racing credentials, Dempsey should be their guy. The former star of Grey’s Anatomy actually has a more accomplished career as a race car driver. He’s competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours and a number of other racing series in the world. He even has a team bearing his name! He’d be a perfect fit for Top Gear. The downside is that getting him to the U.K. for big chunks of the year to film the show could make for serious scheduling conflicts, especially if he already has a full plate in the U.S.
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