Matt LeBlanc to Keep Hosting Top Gear for £1.5 Million
If you were an average Top Gear viewer last series (#23), upon watching the first of the new series without the old Clarkson trio, you were likely very displeased with new host Chris Evans and somewhat pleased with new co-host Matt LeBlanc.
And like many, you were happy to learn that Chris Evans wasn’t returning for the next series—yes, it was that bad. Now, you may also be happy to learn that Matt LeBlanc is definitely coming back, having just signed a two-series deal with the BBC to continue hosting what was once the most-watched TV series… in the world.
I personally thought that LeBlanc was a little bland in his first six episodes on Top Gear… lethargic, even. He didn’t seem all that enthusiastic and his monotone voice did little to make me enthusiastic about the show either; that being said, that could be chalked up to his getting used to the role and the tense relationship he held with Evans.
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Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios, even says that “Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humour, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show, so I couldn’t be more delighted that he’s agreed to come back and do more for us.”
LeBlanc’s two-series contract is worth £1.5 million (1.95 million USD), which might seem like a lot until you realize it must be peanut change to him given that he already makes $20 million every year just in royalties from Friends.
Still, getting paid nearly $1 million per year by the BBC to drive amazing cars around the world… well, that’s not a bad gig, and if LeBlanc is willing to accept so little (relatively speaking), it could be interpreted as further proof of his passion for the show.
In any case, with The Grand Tour on the cusp of release and the next series of Top Gear already promising to be better than the last, it’s a grand time to be a car enthusiast (or a top time?)
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Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.