He'll be there for you?

If you like cars he will. Friends star Matt LeBlanc, who played the dopey, charming wannabe actor Joey Tribbiani in the hit US sitcom, is to join Chris Evans as the host of the new Top Gear on the BBC.

Will he always be stuck in second gear?

Not likely. He has twice appeared as a guest on the show and holds the record for the fastest lap in the "star in a reasonably priced car" segment. Chris Evans said of the appointment: "Matt is a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I'm thrilled he's joining Top Gear." he added that the duo "can't wait to share what we've been up to on screen later this year".

Isn't LeBlanc an American?

He is and will be the first non-Briton to host the car show in its 39-year history. The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, will be hoping the appointment of an actor with international recognition will protect a brand that generates about £50m a year in overseas television sales, DVDs, books, merchandise and live shows.

And he says?

As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I'm honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show's new chapter.

New chapter?

Unless you've spent the past few months stuck in a traffic jam on the M6, you'll know that former host Jeremy Clarkson was sacked for punching his producer last March. He and his former co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, are working on a rival motoring programme for Amazon Prime.

On that bombshell, TV analyst Toby Syfret said:

Jeremy Clarkson created something very close to his personality. People might be excited about [LeBlanc's] appointment on social networks, but however big a star you choose, there will be a question over whether that person gravitates to this show.

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