Matt Le Blanc leaves retirement to star in Episodes

Ex-Friends actor Matt LeBlanc is to star in new BBC comedy Episodes.

Best known for his role as Joey Tribbiani in the American sitcom, Matt then went on to film spin-off Joey. He’s been in retirement since the show got axed in 2006.

But now the father of one is ready to take on a new role – playing himself.

‘I am so glad I got the part; seeing someone else playing Matt LeBlanc would have been devastating!’ says Matt.

‘After Joey, I didn’t feel like working.

‘I have a six-year-old daughter. I’d take her to school and be her dad, see friends and just goof around.

‘Also I was burnt out after 12 years playing the same guy. I was tired.’

Matt, 43, admits he’s grown apart from his Friends co-stars.

‘When the show ended, everyone scattered,’ Matt tells Saturday.

‘When you put six people together in a room with no windows for 10 years, the moment you open the door, they’re going to run away from each other.

‘But we’re all still in touch.’

Matt will co-star in the satirical showbiz comedy Episodes with Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan. The show is written by David Crane – the co-creator of Friends – and Jeffrey Klarik.

Episodes starts on BBC2 on 10 January at 10pm.

Esme Riley