Top Gear’s new hosts are Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness

Top Gear’s new hosts are Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness
Top Gear’s new hosts are Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness

Top Gear is set to return for another series before long – but there will be a radical change in its presenting team.

With the exit of former Friends star Matt Le Blanc, fans will be treated to two new hosts: cricketing legend Freddie Flintoff, and Take Me Out’s Paddy McGuinness.

‘Dream job’

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff – the ex England cricketer who was the talisman in bringing home the 2005 Ashes series against Australia – is in.

It won’t be his first foray into telly either, as Flintoff has featured on shows like A League Of Their Own as a regular panelist in recent years.

Of his new gig, he said: “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.”

‘Beyond exciting’

Paddy McGuinness has joined Top Gear for its 27th series (Photo: ITV)
Paddy McGuinness says he watched the show as a boy (Photo: ITV)

The other new host will be Take Me Out star Paddy McGuinness.

He said: “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.”

The pair will reportedly earn more than £500,000 for fronting the new-look show.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris, James McAvoy, Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid
Chris Harris (left) on the set with show guest James McAvoy, and fellow presenters Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid  (Photo: BBC)

Chris Harris will be the third presenter, retaining his existing role on the programme.

He and Eddie Jordan narrowly escaped injury after a car they were driving in Monaco burst into flames during filming last series.

Harris is a professional petrol head and the man behind the YouTube channel Chris Harris on Cars, which has more than 250,000 subscribers. He started out in journalism at Autocar and was its official road-test editor.

Why did Matt Le Blanc leave?

Discussing why he wanted to leave the show, Matt Le Blanc, 50, who of course replaced Chris Evans as main presenter on the programme, said: “time commitment and extensive travel… takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with.”

He added: “It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons, I will not be continuing my involvement with the show.

“I will forever be a Top Gear fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive.”

The hit BBC show was launched more than 15 years ago in 2002 and became one of the national broadcaster’s biggest successes.

With its trademark group of presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the programme probably reached its biggest audience.

Since their infamous departure, in recent years the BBC have done a number of things to try and freshen up the format.

When will the new series begin filming?

The 27th series of Top Gear will begin filming early next year.

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