Paddy McGuinness slips into 007 mode behind the wheel of an Aston Martin on ‘Top Gear’
Actor and comedian Paddy McGuinness has been a presenter on “Top Gear” since 2019.
And if you have ever tuned into this long-running show on BBC Brit, you would have witnessed McGuiness - along with Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris - go full-throttle on the fun factor behind the wheel.
While Covid-19 put the kibosh on their international pitstops, it didn’t impact their test driving misadventures.
This season, McGuinness has a James Bond moment behind the wheel of an Aston Martin.
And he made sure he looked the part, too.
On the experience, he shared: “I think most young kids from my era wanted to be James Bond or Superman. It was just one of those things where I thought, ’Blimey I can’t believe I’m driving this car!’
“This is the mad thing with ‘Top Gear’, I was skidding round a corner in this really expensive car with machine guns on the front, being chased by Freddie and Chris, who were dressed as Jaws and Nick Nack, driving a Cortina.
“I just thought, ‘What has happened, here?
“This is a mad life!’ But it was fantastic, and it made me feel really lucky to be doing such a fun job.
“We’ve not been able to travel this series because of all the restrictions, but these films in the UK are really good and I don’t think the viewers will miss the big road trips this time.”
Sharing his other highlights, he laughed: “Well, I got to drive a Toy-ari!
“You’ll always get one bloke who buys a certain car pretending it’s something else.
“It’s usually a Toyota because most of those cars can be made to look like certain types of Ferraris, mine was bright yellow.
“But the most difficult thing wasn’t driving around in a bright yellow car, it was when they said we had to do a mini-triathlon
“This is one of those things on ‘Top Gear’ where they say we ‘just’ want you to do this. Like, we just want you to do the ‘Wall of Death’ and you think, ‘Yeah that sounds alright, I’ll do that’.
“A triathlon sounded fine, but remember people usually train for six months, and we had a couple of weeks’ notice.
“We’ve done some quite risky things on this show, but I think the triathlon was the riskiest because we were all on the verge of having heart attacks! Apart from Fred obviously, who is never out of the gym.”
Was it really that bad?
“Oh yeah. It was the hardest thing we did this series – the titanium boots challenge was just a case of accepting you could die at any moment, but the triathlon was so prolonged and horrendous. It was lung-sapping and so gruelling,” McGuinness added.
He continued: “We were in Lycra, which is not a good look for a middle-aged man, swimming in a lake.
“Originally it was a 500m outdoor swim and I said to the producer that there was no way on God’s green Earth I could do that! In the middle of winter as well, so they cut it down to 200m which was still horrendous.
“We did the swim, straight out of the water onto bikes and then instead of a run we drove the cars on a circuit, but it was really hard going; me and Chris were really struggling.”
In the series, the guys also revisited memories of the cars their dads drove.
He shared: “When you think about being in your mum and dad’s cars when you were a kid it’s all the little things that come flooding back.
“My mum brought me up on her own and my dad used to pick me up at the weekend.
“Where we lived in this terraced street in Bolton there used to be a little grid outside the house and whenever my dad pulled up in that little yellow Fiesta, he’d drive over that grid.
“It would make that clunky noise that grids make. That’s the first thing I remembered when they revealed the cars on the show, that noise. It’s a lovely film with lots of memories.”
Aside from some off-road driving in Scotland, there’s a midlife crisis cars episode that is bound to be a hoot.
As always, the guys never fail to take the mickey out of each other.
“Top Gear” season 30 is on BBC Brit on Thursdays at 8pm.