31/05/2018 17:19 BST | Updated 01/06/2018 08:35 BST

Matt LeBlanc To Leave 'Top Gear' After Next Series

'Thanks for a great drive.'

‘Top Gear’ presenter Matt LeBlanc has announced he is stepping down from the series. 

The former ‘Friends’ star will leave the BBC Two motoring show following the next series, citing the time he spends away from his family as the reason for his exit. 

Matt LeBlanc is stepping down from 'Top Gear'

He said in a statement: “My experience on ‘Top Gear’ has been great fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team.

“However, the time commitment and extensive travel required to present Top Gear takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with.

“It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show. I will forever be a ‘Top Gear’ fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive.”

BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland praised the star for his “fabulous” work, adding: “We were always going to be borrowing him from his day job as one of the top comic actors in Hollywood, so I wish him all the very best.

“The next series of ‘Top Gear’ (Matt’s last) promises to be something very special and we have great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond.”

Matt with co-hosts Rory Reid and Chris Harris

Matt’s exit follows a turbulent few years for ‘Top Gear’. 

Jeremy Clarkson was fired from the series in 2015 following a physical altercation with a producer. His co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May soon followed him out of the door. 

Chris Evans did not prove popular on the show

The show was relaunched in 2016 with Chris Evans at the helm, where he was joined by Matt as co-presenter. 

However, Chris’s performance was heavily criticised by reviewers and fans alike, while ratings dwindled over the course of the run, and he stepped down once the final episode of the series aired.

Matt later stepped up to the role of main host for the 2017, with Chris Harris and Rory Reid becoming his co-hosts, and the trio concluded their second series together in April. 

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