Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness to replace Matt LeBlanc

Paddy Mc Guinness and Freddie Flintoff will host Top Gear

He said the show was "great fun", but " time commitment and extensive travel.takes me away from my family and friends more than I'm comfortable with".

The 26 season of the show, which airs on BBC2 in the United Kingdom and BBC America in the US, is set to start filming later this year and will run in early 2019, while the 27th season of the show, which will feature the new pair will film in early 2019 for a debut later in the year.

The pair will take over from Matt LeBlanc, after he steps down from presenting duties at the end of the next series.

The decision is mixed news for LeBlanc's co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid, with Harris staying on as a main presenter and Reid's role being reduced to more of a bit player. He'll continue to be the face of TG's companion show Extra Gear, and will form the heart of a larger digital presence for the show.

Freddie Flintoff added: "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".

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Speaking after the announcement, McGuinness, best known in New Zealand as the host of British dating show Take Me Out, said he was thrilled to have been given the opportunity by the BBC.

The new trio are scheduled to begin filming for the 27th series of the much-loved motoring show in early 2019.

"Top Gear" bosses also promised petrol heads and fans that the vehicle will remain the real star of the show but hint at an "even further escalation of humour, jeopardy and insurance bills as they embark on some of the show's biggest adventures to date".

The broadcasting corp hinted at an escalation of humour, jeopardy and insurance bills as they embark on some of the show's biggest adventures to date. "Chris Harris might have the greater vehicle skills, but when it comes to the infamous Top Gear challenges, he's going to have to bring his A-game to have the beating of these two".

The two new presenters both trace their heritage back to Lancaster, and it's likely that Yankee Top Gear fans may be unfamiliar with their names.

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