BBC has announced two new hosts for Top Gear in the form of comedian Paddy McGuiness and cricketer Andrew Flintoff. The announcement comes shortly Matt LeBlanc decided to leave the famed automotive television show after completion of the 26th season. Both McGuiness and Flintoff will host the 27th season along with Chris Harris.
Paddy McGuinness rose to fame with UK TV shows like Take Me Out, Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere. McGuinness’ comedy career spans over two decades.
“Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity” said Paddy McGuinness. “To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting.”
On the other hand, Andrew Flintoff made his name as a cricketer and served as the English captain for many years. In 2013, he was forced to retire early from the sport due to a knee injury. Currently, Flintoff presents the podcast Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy for BBC Radio 5 Live. It is unclear whether he will continue to host the award-winning show, which has helped him cement his new career as a presenter and broadcaster.
“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” Flintoff said. “I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”
The 26th season starring Matt LeBlanc will air in early 2019 while the trio of McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris will start filming the 27th season later in the same year. Rory Reid who joined the show in 2016 will step down from the main show but will keep hosting the spin-off Extra Gear.