Top Gear: We’re tight as you like, says Matt LeBlanc
TOP GEAR mainstay Matt LeBlanc reckons the chemistry between the three hosts will make the new series the best since the brand’s revamp.
The BBC2 show, which features the former Friends actor alongside Chris Harris and Rory Reid, is returning for its 25th series, the third since the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in 2015.
Now, ahead of the new series launch, LeBlanc claims the relationship between the new trio has progressed and they were jacking up the laughs.
He said: ‘What we’ve done this time is broaden the appeal of the show. This year the films are bigger and have way more comedy.
‘We’ve been thinking outside the box more, and the chemistry between the three of us has been getting stronger as we get to know each other better.
‘It’s enjoyable to watch people who are enjoying their job. No-one wants to watch someone who hates their job.
‘It will always be a car show, but we’re trying to broaden the demographic to make it appeal to a wider audience.’
Reid, who joined the show in 2016 following a public casting call, reckons the Top Gear brand is bigger than any of the individual hosts.
He said: ‘Top Gear has been going for decades and decades.
‘This is an evolution of the brand.
‘We’re just the custodians of it, and I dare say in the future other presenters will carry the brand forward. I’ll keep watching it through all its iterations.’
Harris, who made his name reviewing cars on YouTube before getting his break on Top Gear, said: ‘Because we’ve had time to get to know each other. People often use the C word — and by that, I mean chemistry.
‘But you don’t just sit in a room and instantly have chemistry — that’s not possible. You have to get to know each other.
‘You need to get to know where the other person’s funny bone is and what annoys them.
‘And that’s what we’ve done.’
Commentators wondered about the future of Top Gear when Clarkson was forced out and his co-hosts trailed after him.
Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans was brought in as a replacement following their exit, but he stepped down after one series following plummeting ratings and poor reviews, saying he gave it his best shot but it was ‘not enough’.
The show is still one of the BBC’s most popular programmes and the corporation estimates it has a worldwide audience of 350million.
■ Top Gear returns to BBC2 on February 25
Author: Simon Wilgress-pipe