Top Gear's full line-up of presenters revealed

The BBC has unveiled a final lineup of seven presenters for its flagship motoring program Top Gear, including two international racing drivers and American actor Matt LeBlanc.

Top Gear's line-up of presenters for 2016. From left: Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans, Chris ...
Top Gear's line-up of presenters for 2016. From left: Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, The Stig. Photo: BBC/Top Gear

LeBlanc, who holds the record for fastest lap time in the show's "star in a reasonably priced car" segment, is best known as one of the stars of the long-running US comedy Friends.

The 48-year-old actor joins British television presenter Chris Evans, who was announced as the first new host of the series last June.

After almost seven months wait, the remaining presenters have been confirmed.

The lineup includes two racing drivers: Germany's Sabine Schmitz, who has driven for BMW and Porsche, and Ireland's Eddie Jordan, a former F1 driver and F1 team owner.


There are also two journalists, Chris Harris, who the BBC described as a man "whose very name sends shivers through many car manufacturers' boardrooms", and Rory Reid, who has appeared on the Sky series Gadget Geeks.

The seventh presenter is  the show's long-serving masked test driver, The Stig. The BBC's media release included only a brief comment from The Stig, which read: "-.-. .... . .-- .. . --..-- / .-- . .----. .-. . / .... --- -- . .-.-.-"

Translated from Morse code, it says: "Chewie, we're home."

The BBC was forced to recast the show's presenters after a succession of scandals led to the sacking of the show's long-serving presenter Jeremy Clarkson in March, 2015.

In the wake of Clarkson's sacking, his co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, and the show's executive producer Andy Wilman, confirmed they would not return either.

With an effectively clean slate and enormous commercial pressure given the value of the Top Gear brand to the BBC's sales arm, BBC Worldwide, the task of recruiting new hosts has been slow and painstaking.

"We really do have a bit of everything for everyone," Evans said.

The 49-year-old broadcaster described LeBlanc as a "fellow lifelong petrolhead" and Schmitz as "a fearless speed-demon".

The new series will launch in May in the UK. It will screen from May in Australia on the BBC Knowledge channel on Foxtel.