Top Gear will continue to drive away from Clarkson era, says Matt LeBlanc

17th Aug 17 | Entertainment News

The former Friends star said the 25th season will feature more laughs but not at the expense of the "petrolhead nature".

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc has said the new season of Top Gear will continue to steer away from the Jeremy Clarkson era and will try to attract a more diverse audience.

The former Friends star continued to lead the BBC series after Chris Evans’ one-season reign which saw a heavy ratings slump.

Viewing figures may not have increased but the LeBlanc-led show attracted a younger audience who rated it “far higher” than the previous series, according to the BBC.

LeBlanc said the 25th series, due to air in spring next year, will increase the comedy while remaining true to its car-loving core.

“It will be closer to what it was last year versus the season before,” he told the Press Association.

“I think we’ve tried to broaden the demographic of the show, try to make it not lose the sort of petrolhead nature of it but maybe open it up to people who maybe aren’t so petrolheady, expand the comedy, try to have bigger, broader films, but it will be more of the same in the sense it starts with the car.”

He said he will return to film in the UK in the coming weeks and has so far shot in Norway, France, Italy and California.

Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris
LeBlanc and Chris Harris in Norway filming for the upcoming Top Gear season (Gus Gregory/PA)

LeBlanc, 50, declined to discuss viewing figures, which were similar in the last episode at 1.9 million to that during the Evans-fronted series low.

Numbers remained smaller than they did with Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond at the helm.

The trio moved to Amazon Prime to start the Grand Tour after Clarkson gave producer Oisin Tymon a bloody lip in a bust-up.

BBC2 controller Patrick Holland previously said Top Gear’s last season drew a “much healthier” audience and it should not be compared to the Clarkson era, which was a “completely different” show.

Kathleen Rose Perkins, Matt LeBlanc and Mircea Monroe
Episodes stars Kathleen Rose Perkins, LeBlanc and Mircea Monroe (Alexander G. Seyum/AP)

LeBlanc spoke in Los Angeles ahead of a panel discussing the final season of Episodes, the BBC and Showtime comedy starring British comedians Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.

LeBlanc said it will be hard to leave behind the show, which has been a “inspiring, magic, special journey”.

© Press Association 2017

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