Belfast Telegraph

Matt LeBlanc 'signs £2 million Top Gear hosting deal' - report

Matt LeBlanc has reportedly put pen to paper on a major new deal which will expand his role on the Top Gear TV show.

Matt LeBlanc has reportedly signed a £2 million (€2.3 million) deal to present British motoring TV show Top Gear.

The former Friends star was signed up as one of six presenters when the show was revamped earlier this year (16).

According to editors at British newspaper The Sun, with the departure of main presenter Chris Evans after just one series Matt has signed a major new £2 million deal expanding his Top Gear hosting role.

BBC bosses move to secure Matt's services reportedly comes after the broadcaster lost the rights to another of its hit shows, The Great British Bake Off, to rival Channel 4.

"Bake Off going to Channel 4 was a disaster and a real blow," an insider tells The Sun. "Losing Matt because of a few diary arrangements would have spun Top Gear into crisis yet again."

The actor is currently in Los Angeles filming family sitcom Man With a Plan for U.S. network NBC.

After being revamped in the wake of the axing of longtime host Jeremy Clarkson last year (15) the show struggled to pull in viewers, resulting in Chris's departure in July (16).

Despite the new Top Gear's troubles, Matt's presenting style was praised by critics and as a result BBC TV controller Charlotte Moore was reportedly desperate to keep hold of the 49-year-old star.

"In the end they just wanted to sign up Matt as he's great with the fans and gives the show stability as it's due to start filming within days," the source says.

After the reported new deal Matt looks set to takeover the show's celebrity interview segment.

The insider also says BBC bosses used a Top Gear presenting slot as bait to tempt The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood with the BBC.

However last week (ends25Sep16) Paul announced he would be moving with the show to Channel 4, despite his fellow judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins quitting.

Top Gear presenters Matt, motor racing entrepreneur Eddie Jordan, racing driver Sabine Schmitz, and motoring journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid are believed to be starting filming on its latest series to be aired in 2017 soon.

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