Season 26, Matt LeBlanc's last as lead host, will premiere early in 2019

By Aurelie Corinthios
October 22, 2018 02:55 PM
Credit: Ashley Knotek/REX/Shutterstock

Popular British motor show Top Gear has revealed the lineup for its upcoming 27th season.

The BBC announced Monday that former racing driver Chris Harris will return as host, joined by two new stars: English comedian and TV presenter Paddy McGuinness and former cricket captain Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff.

The pair are taking over for Friends star Matt LeBlanc. Season 26, LeBlanc’s last as lead host, will premiere early in 2019, before McGuiness, Flintoff and Harris take over later in the year.

Rory Reid, who joined the Top Gear team after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, will no longer be the main host but “will remain part of the Top Gear family,” according to the network.

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“Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honor and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity,” McGuinness said. “To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting.”

Flintoff also expressed his excitement at the news.

“It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have,” he said. “I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”

Clarkson was infamously suspended from Top Gear in 2015 after allegedly punching a BBC producer. He later apologized and settled the producer’s racial discrimination and injury claim.

Filming for season 27 will begin in early 2019.