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Matt Le Blanc WILL return as Top Gear's main host with a mega pay packet

Mirror logo Mirror 11/08/2016 Mark Jefferies

© Provided by Mirror Matt LeBlanc has agreed to return to Top Gear and may even double his money with a new £1m (AUD $1.6m) deal.

In Los Angeles on Wednesday promoting his new sitcom Man With A Plan, Matt was asked about doing more Top Gear and insisted: “I don’t know. I’d like to. There’s nothing officially happening yet. Follow the BBC.”

However, BBC insiders have now told the Mirror that coy Matt has verbally agreed to return and will sign a new one year deal shortly.

Chris Evans, who quit in July, had a £1m deal and Matt was reportedly on £500,000 for the last series.

But it is thought he could earn up to £1million for Series 24 of the car show.

A show source said: “Matt was one of the positive aspects of the last series, he is keen to return and we definitely want him back so it will happen, we just need to dot the ‘i’s’ and cross the ‘ts’.

“We think he will be back filming soon and he is excited about some of the ideas we have lined up.”

Top Gear faced a major makeover after the old hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left in 2015.

Radio2 DJ Evans came in as the main host alongside Le Blanc and a number of other presenters including Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan.

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Although the show was not a hit with the critics and Evans left, it was still sold 153 territories worldwide and remains one of the BBC’s biggest most popular exports.

Having LeBlanc on the show again will help maintain these sales by BBC Worldwide.

Facing questions from critics in America, LeBlanc said his favourite part about appearing on the 23rd series was ‘probably the travel’, adding that he visited places including South Africa, Morocco and Ireland.

He added: “That show has a pretty broad demographic. Everybody can relate to an automobile.”

Speaking in July, Evans tipped LeBlanc as the man to take the series forward without him.

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Evans said: “For me, he is the man. He is the captain Top Gear truly needs going forward, the perfect torso for the rest of TG’s limbs.

“Not only does he eat, sleep, breathe and dream engines, prop shafts and trail-braking, but the overwhelming quality that struck me about him is that he’s just such a pro.

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“The whole time I worked with him, he never once looked at the clock, was never late on set, knew his lines inside out and back to front and, most importantly on such an intense production, he always had time for everyone, especially the crew.

“The simple truth is he and Top Gear were made for each other.”

Asked if LeBlanc was staying on the show, a BBC spokesman said: “We don’t expect further changes to the Top Gear presenting line-up.”

Filming begins in Autumn.

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