11/10/2016 17:33 BST

'Top Gear': Matt LeBlanc Had No Idea Chris Evans Was Going To Quit

'I found out like everyone else. I read it in a paper.'

Matt LeBlanc has admitted Chris Evans failed to tell him he was quitting ‘Top Gear’. 

The former ‘Friends’ star has told of how he discovered Chris would be stepping down from the reboot of the BBC Two motoring show at the same time everybody else did, when he read it in the news.

Chris announced his departure on Twitter back in July, following sliding viewing figures and poor reviews. 

Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans hosted the last series of 'Top Gear' together

Revealing he had no idea about Chris’ intentions, Matt told Digital Spy: ”To be honest, I didn’t know he was quitting - I found out like everyone else. I read it in a paper and I thought, ‘Hmm… I wonder if I’m going to get a phone call about this?’

“I didn’t know anything about it.”

Matt has since been promoted to the main host of ‘Top Gear’, with Rory Reid and Chris Harris also stepping up as his sidekicks. 

He also admitted he never anticipated the backlash the show’s revamp received, following the departure of long-running hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.  

“I’m excited [for the new series] but the show seems to be surrounded by huge controversy, and I don’t really know why,” he said.

Rory Reid (left) and Chris Harris (third from right) have been promoted from regulars to Matt's new co-hosts

“Maybe it’s because of the history of the show - but boy, being on that show is like being in a fish bowl. Everybody is after you.

“Everybody is waiting for you to put a foot wrong and that’s tough but, you know, I like cars. I know a little bit about cars. I can say some funny things about cars. Hopefully people will watch it,” he added. 

Rory recently revealed how he thinks the format of the show needs to change if it is to survive

He told RedBull.com: “I think they’d (the BBC) incorporate the rest of us to make it like an ensemble piece. We’ll see what happens, but I expect it to be a pretty big change, and that things will be pretty different for series 24.” 

The new series of ‘Top Gear’ will air on BBC Two in 2017.

Photo gallery Top Gear: The Story So Far... See Gallery