You’d think that Matt LeBlanc would be the first person to find out he’s got to shoulder the responsibility for the ailing Top Gear brand on his own, wouldn’t you?
Not a bit of it.
Speaking to Digital Spy, the actor says he had “nothing to do with” his co-host’s departure – and only found out about it when he read it in the newspapers.
“To be honest, I didn’t know he was quitting,” the 49-year-old star explained. “I found out like everyone else. I read it in a paper and I thought, ‘Hmm… I wonder if I’m going to get a phone call about this?’ I didn’t know anything about it.”
Since Evans’ departure, LeBlanc has been brought back to present the next series of the show – after many fans decided he was one of the few good things about the show’s post-Clarkson reboot.
“I’m excited but the show seems to be surrounded by huge controversy, and I don’t really know why,” he explained. “Maybe it’s because of the history of the show – but boy, being on that show is like being in a fish bowl. Everybody is after you.
“Everybody is waiting for you to put a foot wrong and that’s tough but, you know, I like cars. I know a little bit about cars. I can say some funny things about cars. Hopefully people will watch it.
“When it comes to what will be different in the show, they are still working out the rough edges about what will change because Chris had creative control on the show before. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.
“[Producer] Alex Renton is in charge now and he’s a very competent guy. He’s a very smart guy and I trust him. We’ll see how it goes.”
Of course, Matt’s Top Gear predecessors are about to return with Amazon series The Grand Tour – and he wishes them the best of luck.
“I love those three guys,” he said. “I’ve been a fan of Top Gear for a long time and I think those guys are great. I hope that their show is a success.
“They are testing new waters with Amazon. Will people pay for Amazon to watch it? I hope so. I hope it’s a hit for them. I think those guys have a very special chemistry, so let’s see.”