LeBlanc challenges Stephen Mangan to ‘Top Gear’ car duel

NEW Top Gear co-host, MATT LEBLANC, has challenged his Episodes co-star, STEPHEN MANGAN, to a car duel.
LeBlanc challenges Stephen Mangan to ‘Top Gear’ car duel

Top Gear fans were taken by surprise when the show’s host, CHRIS EVANS, announced that Friends star LeBlanc would be his co-presenter when the rebooted show launches in May.

LeBlanc, known for playing Friends’ loveable Joey Tribbiani, appeared on the last incarnation of Top Gear twice.

Following the announcement, LeBlanc responded to a comment from Mangan.

Mangan re-tweeted a photo of Evans, LeBlanc and The Stig, commenting: “Still annoyed they made me wear that helmet.”

LeBlanc replied: “Ok Mangan, here’s your chance to beat my time. You better come on the show.”

He was referring to his first appearance, in 2012, when he set the fastest-ever time for a celebrity. He set an unbeaten lap time of 1m 42.1s in a Kia cee’d.

VAN MORRISON described himself as just a “blue-eyed soul singer” from Belfast, as he was knighted for a musical career that has enthralled audiences and delighted critics.

In more than 50 years, the singer has gone from teenage stardom to innovator and is now a respected veteran, whose classic album, Astral Weeks, regularly makes the list of top 100 albums of all time.

Van Morrison, full name George Ivan Morrison, was introduced as Sir Ivan Morrison as he stepped forward to be dubbed a knight by the Prince of Wales, in Buckingham Palace’s ballroom.

Afterwards, he said: “It’s amazing, it’s very exhilarating, the whole thing. For 53 years, I’ve been in the business — that’s not bad for a blue-eyed soul singer from east Belfast.”

The 70-year-old has blended his influences — R&B, blues, jazz, and country — into a unique mix that reflects his upbringing in Northern Ireland. Morrison’s best-known songs range from the 1960s tracks, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and ‘Gloria’, with the band, Them, to solo efforts like ‘Moondance’, ‘Sweet Thing’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately’.

He has been a prolific recording artist and released his latest studio album, Duets, last year, singing with a range of stars, from JOSS STONE to the late BOBBY WOMACK.

His knighthood is for services to the music industry, and tourism in his native Northern Ireland.

Morrison said he still remained committed to performing for an audience: “I enjoy that the most — playing a small club.That’s really what I do.”

ZAYN MALIK has confirmed what we all already suspected — GIGI HADID is his girlfriend.

The blonde model stars in the steamy music video for his first solo single, ‘Pillowtalk’, but neither had confirmed their relationship was anything more than just friendship, until now.

Malik was put on the spot in a recent radio interview with Zach Sang & the Gang, when he was asked: “Was it cool to have your girlfriend in the video?”

He replied: “Uh, yeah. That was cool. It was something different. We enjoyed it. It was fun. Had a lot of fun on set.”

And just to make sure her ears didn’t deceive her, one of the co-hosts followed up with: “No-one easier to make out with than your own girlfriend, right?”

To which Malik replied: Exactly.”

Malik is releasing his first solo album on March 25, hoping to add to the huge success of ‘Pillowtalk’. He was previously engaged to LITTLE MIX’s PERRIE EDWARDS, while Gigi recently split from JOE JONAS.

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Click and connect: 100 places in Munster to shop locally this Christmas

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We want to help you to connect with the people you love, but may not see, this Christmas.  Every Saturday, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we will publish your messages in print and online, starting November 28.

Say it here, in the Irish Examiner.