Matt LeBlanc has reportedly signed a brand new Top Gear hosting deal worth a huge £2million after the BBC lost Great British Bake Off to rival Channel 4. While co-host Chris Evans bowed out of the show after being panned by critics, the former Friends star fared a lot better, and is said to have been negotiating with the broadcaster to serve as the solo host after his contract expired in June.
According to a report, the BBC has now agreed to his stipulations, including working around filming of his US sitcom. The Sun reports that the deal, agreed by BBC TV controller Charlotte Moore, will see most of his pay packet paid through the broadcaster’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide, which means his salary won’t be made public.
An insider told the newspaper: “Bake Off going to Channel 4 was a disaster and a real blow. Losing Matt because of a few diary arrangements would have spun Top gear into crisis yet again. Charlotte looks like she has really aged in the last couple of weeks and had even offered Paul Hollywood a role on Top Gear to try and get him to stay. In the end they just wanted to sign up Matt as he’s great with the fans and gives the show stability as it’s due to start filming within days.”
Chris quit the show quit in June – a year into his three-year contract – after the final episode pulled in its lowest viewing figures since 2002.
Matt was paid an estimated £500,000 for the last series.