BBC AMERICA surprised fans today when the network announced that Matt LeBlanc would be one of the new presenters of the upcoming return of “Top Gear”.

The series is one of most popular car entertainment shows on the planet, this will be the first time the series has ever had a non-British host in its 39-year history. BBC AMERICA will premiere the new season this May.

Matt LeBlanc has two Golden-Globes, he stars in the BBC comedy “Episodes”. LeBlanc of course was made famous by his global hit “Friends,” which ended almost 12 years ago.

This won’t be Matt LeBlanc’s first trip to the “Top Gear” set, the actor has appeared on the series two-times before. LeBlanc also presents the standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races, currently airing on BBC AMERICA, where he led fans through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.

He joins production immediately and additional Top Gear cast members will be confirmed shortly.

Chris Evans said of his new Top Gear presenter: “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year.”

Matt LeBlanc commented: “As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honored and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill!”

Matt holds the record for the fastest ever celebrity lap on the famous Top Gear track, having appeared as a guest in Season 18 Episode 2, setting a still unbeaten 1m42.1sec in the Kia C’eed. Matt also reappeared on the show in Season 19 Episode 4 when he was asked to test the new Kia C’eed on the track, against the old one.

Matt’s love of all things four and two wheeled will come as no surprise to Top Gear fans. Whilst on set for his guest appearance, Matt also spent as much time as he was allowed driving the McLaren 12C supercar around the Top Gear track, accompanied by The Stig.

Top Gear is a BBC in-house entertainment production for BBC Television.