Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff have been confirmed as the new hosts of Top Gear.
Following Matt LeBlanc’s announcement that he will leave the show after the next series in 2019, Top Gear has announced a new look line-up of hosts.
Lancashire lads Paddy McGuinness, the primetime entertainment host and comedian, and former Ashes-winning England cricketer and TV presenter Freddie Flintoff, will takeover the main show.
They will be joined by motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harris.
The trio will begin production on Series 27 of the BBC Two show in early 2019 – with their inaugural series premiering later in the year.
The BBC says: “Top Gear bosses promise petrolheads and fans that the car will remain the real star of the show but hint at an even further escalation of humour, jeopardy and insurance bills as they embark on some of the show’s biggest adventures to date.”
Paddy McGuinness said today: “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this Great British machine and see what it can do!”
Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff added: “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. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”
Chris Harris commented: “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”
Meanwhile, Matt LeBlanc’s current co-host Rory Reidwill step down from the main presenting lineup but will remain part of the Top Gear family, along with Sabine Schmitz. The BBC say he will still host Extra Gear as well as fronting more digital content.
Matt LeBlanc’s final Top Gear series will air in 2019 with Paddy and Freddie’s series starting later in the year.