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I was driving on roads at 12, says Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness

Baby driver:
New Top Gear
host Paddy
recalls his
dad letting
him drive the
family car
aged 12 PICTURE: PA

PADDY McGUINNESS has revealed his first motoring experience came aged just 12 when his father let him drive the family car on public roads.

The 45-year-old comedian admitted his father let him drive the family car near their Lancashire home.

The new Top Gear presenter, who is filming the 27th series of the long-running BBC motoring show, joked that he could not condone his own behaviour.

The Take Me Out host said: ‘Back when I was a young lad, I’m not condoning this, but there wasn’t as much traffic on the roads.

‘My dad used to drive a Hillman Avenger, and he would take me on the road driving that. ‘So I was driving when I was about 12, 13 on the public roads, which were kind of desolate back then. Now it’s just ridiculous.’

McGuinness, a long-standing Top Gear fan, said his first car cost £90 and was deemed a ‘death trap’ when he took it in for an MOT. He said: ‘The mechanic came out and he went “whose is the Escort?”. And I went “mine”, he went “f****** death trap”. I thought to myself “it hasn’t passed, has it?”.’

The new series will include McGuinness racing his co-presenters Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris around a track in electric cars — with each collision sending a jolt of electricity through the driver’s body.

In another episode, McGuinness tries to convince his co-hosts that a funeral hearse could be used as a family car.

McGuinness and Flintoff replace ex- Friends star Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid, whose final run as presenters began on BBC2 on Sunday night.