Matt LeBlanc and team get into Top Gear as show returns to screens

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Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid aim for full throttle as they return to TV screens on Sunday night's Top Gear.

The BBC Two motoring show is back with the trio at the helm and an impressive line-up of engine power.

Scottish actor James McAvoy will star as the first celebrity guest in the studio segment of the show.

Harris, 42, a motoring journalist and YouTuber, said that with the latest offering of the series viewers will get a "sense of wow" followed by "another layer that makes you think".

The show's executive producer, Clare Pizey, said comparisons to the old line-up which featured three male presenters (Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond) were inevitable, but added that they "have to make the best show we can.

"We have got a job to do."

She said of the new trio: "It is much more natural. If you put three guys on a trip with three cars, the banter starts, they laugh and they have fun. They are all competitive in their own ways."

This year the celebrity guest will be given a masterclass in driving by Harris, instead of The Stig, and they will be filmed as they go along.

However, The Stig will still feature in the series, along with guest appearances from the likes of Eddie Jordan and German racing pro Sabine Schmitz.

The show's series editor, Alex Renton, commented that "the scale is bigger than the last series".

Reid hinted that this year's most hair-raising moment in the series happened during filming in the south of France.

He told the Press Association: "I saw both these guys (LeBlanc and Harris) freak out off script.

"Let's just say they weren't very comfortable, they were telling me to slow down and screaming and there was a little bit of terror in the air."

:: Top Gear airs on BBC Two at 8pm.