Matt LeBlanc has announced that he is to step down as host of 'Top Gear' after two years and four series.

The actor, who has hosted the show as lead presenter (with Rory Reid and Chris Harris) since 2016 - after Chris Evans stepped down - said that he is leaving in order to spend more time with his family and friends.

50-year-old Friends star LeBlanc is father to three children, including two step-children from his first marriage, and said that the long stretches of filming in the UK for the BBC series had been difficult.

"My experience on Top Gear has been great fun," he said in a statement. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team. ‘However, the time commitment and extensive travel required to present Top Gear takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with." 

"It’s unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show. I will forever be a Top Gear fan and I wish the team continued success. Thanks for a great drive."

The show's director Patrick Holland said: “I want to thank the fabulous Matt LeBlanc for being a brilliant co-host on Top Gear. ‘Matt has thrown himself into the show with real passion, revealing his extraordinary car knowledge and a willingness to get down and dirty. ‘We were always going to be borrowing him from his day job as one of the top comic actors in Hollywood, so I wish him all the very best. ‘The next series of Top Gear (Matt’s last) promises to be something very special and we have great plans to welcome a new co-host to join the team for 2019 and beyond.’

Considering LeBlanc's hiring came out of the blue in the first place, who do you reckon the next presenter could be? Let us know in the comments.