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Matt LeBlanc's exit: Is the Top Gear job cursed?

2018-06-07 08:43

Sean Parker

Image: AFP / Valerie Macon

The news of Matt LeBlanc's exit from BBC's flagship motoring show Top Gear didn't come as a surprise to Wheels24's Sean Parker.

The American actor, best known for his role as 'Joey' in the insanely successful sitcom Friends, struggled to find tempo alongside radio personality Chris Evans, who also left the show after just two seasons at the helm in July 2016.

LeBlanc wasn't as funny as previous presenters and perhaps his more 'safer' driving style failed to find him a band of Top Gear followers. 

How difficult can it be?

Evans and a band of presenters replaced Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in 2016 after Clarkson famously had a fight with one of the show's producers. 

The BBC then scaled the cast down to three, with LeBlanc headlining the show with Chris Harris and Rory Reid. 

Never found his rhythm

To be fair to LeBlanc and co, it was always going to be impossible to replicate the chemistry and inside jokes of the show during the Clarkson era. 

But the actor's exit just two years in the hot seat and Evans' short-lived role, show that being at the fore front of  one of the world's most popular TV shows is not as easy as it looks. 

Evans took a lot of criticism on social media for his 'squeaky' voice and lack of driving skill, while the show's ratings never reached the lofty heights seen during Clarkson's reign. 

The brand is one of the BBC's strongest and has earned the broadcaster millions of pounds via TV rights and merchandise.

Clarkson's enviable knowledge of cars, driving skill and a quick turn of phrase saw his popularity sky rocket during the show's heyday.

We'll wait to see who the BBC picks to replace LeBlanc but the bigger question is, can the BBC ever replace Clarkson? 

 

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