Matt LeBlanc: Top Gear to 'expand the comedy'

Matt LeBlanc has given viewers a taster of what they can expect from the next series of Top Gear.

The 25th season of the show – due to air in spring 2018 – will see LeBlanc return to host alongside Rory Reid and Chris Harris.

“I think we’ve tried to broaden the demographic of the show,” the presenter said.

“Try to make it not lose the petrolhead nature of it but maybe open it up to people who aren’t so petrolheady.

“Expand the comedy, try to have bigger, broader films, but it will be more of the same in the sense it starts with the car.”

LeBlanc will return to the UK in the coming weeks to shoot footage for the show – so far he’s been filming in Norway, France, Italy and California.

“It will be closer to what it was last year versus the season before,” he added.

The most recent series was more popular with critics than the one before it – which saw Chris Evans on hosting duties.

Evans hadn’t been popular with viewers and he left the show after fronting one series.

But LeBlanc declined to discuss viewing figures, which have generally been lower since the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

The trio moved to Amazon Prime to start the Grand Tour after Clarkson punched a producer. He later apologised after settling a £100,000 racial discrimination and injury claim.

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland has previously said Top Gear’s last season drew a “much healthier” audience and it should not be compared to the Clarkson era, which was a “completely different” show.

The BBC has also said that younger audiences rated the most recent series “far higher” than they did previous ones.

LeBlanc was speaking from Los Angeles as he promoted the last series of Episodes, the comedy he stars in alongside Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.

The 50-year-old said it will be hard to leave behind the show, which has been a “inspiring, magic, special journey”.


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