Matt LeBlanc has quit 'Top Gear'.

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc

The former 'Friends' star has announced he is leaving the BBC motoring show at the end of the next series in order to spend more time with his family.

Matt, 50, said in a statement released by BBC Studios: "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."

But the 'Episodes' actor added that his "experience on 'Top Gear' has been great fun" and he has "thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team".

Matt joined the show as regular co-host in 2016 along with Chris Evans, following the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

Chris quit the show after just one series but Matt proved a hit with viewers and critics and was joined by co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid for the following instalment.

Matt will film his fourth and final series of 'Top Gear' later this year.

The American actor - who has a teenage daughter Marina with his model ex-wife Melissa McKnight - currently splits his time between the US and London and as of March 2018 was confirmed to be dating 'Top Gear' producer Aurora Mulligan.

BBC Two controller 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."

Matt said last year that since turning 50 he had began to think of retirement.

He said: "I would like to retire earlier than later, because I think I would like to do not a f***ing thing. That's what I would like to do. Just nothing. Nothing! Zero."