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CAR S.O.S Returns for a Sixth Season: A Conversation with James Nesbitt

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Premieres on National Geographic Thursday 8th March at 8pm

Get revved up and ready for the return of master mechanic Fuzz Townshend and parts-blagging petrol-head Tim Shaw as the talented duo unleash a brand new, Season 6 of their hugely popular car restoration series, Car S.O.S., onto our screens.

Premiering on National Geographic at 8pm on Thursday 8th March 2018 and with a special guest appearance in the opening episode from actor James Nesbitt (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Cold Feet), this new season is one not to be missed!

Featuring some of the most difficult car makeovers Fuzz and Tim have ever encountered and heart-breaking real-life stories that devastate the entire crew, including the sad death of a contributor at the time of filming their episode, the sixth instalment of this much-loved series is a heartwarming, inspirational rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Making motoring dreams come true, Tim and Fuzz continue their undercover mission to save corroding classic cars from their unsuspecting owners, and restore them to their former glory, after a swift pit-stop at the Car S.O.S. garage.



How did you come on board for this episode of Car SOS?

Billy’s brother, Ian, works in my facilities company in Northern Ireland. He contacted me and asked if I would get involved. I wasn’t initially sure what the format would be, but the moment I arrived on Saturday, I could sense this was something special. The car has undergone an extraordinary transformation from scrap to this absolutely stunning MGA.


It’s an extraordinary story, isn’t it?

Absolutely. This is the second anniversary of the darkest time in Billy’s life. So there is an enormous amount of sensitivity today. As much as this is something that will give him a great lift, it’s also very poignant that he was going to restore this car with his son John. It’s a very, very human story.


How did Billy’s family set up this restoration?

Billy’s daughter Kathryn started the ball rolling on this project because she saw that the family could have fallen apart after John’s death. She knew that Billy has been the glue that has held his family together and that he truly deserves this moment.


The commitment of the SOS team is something to behold, isn’t it?

Definitely. This is the first properly new built MGA in 60 years. Last night it wouldn’t start, so they kept working on it into the wee small hours. The team are utterly committed and moved by this story. This is a very inclusive and accessible and human story about real people. I think audiences will be very affected by it.



Was the MGA difficult to drive?

Yes. I was nervous. But I thought, “If I’m going to crash a car, this is the time to do it. There are plenty of people from Car SOS here who could fix it!” Also, I passed my test in a Lada, and if you can drive a Lada, you can drive anything!


Presumably you have driven a great variety of cars in your job?

Yes. I’ve driven a huge number of cars in my acting career. I’ve raced round any number of corners. I’ve even driven a speedboat. On Lucky Man, I had to drive a speedboat at 4am towards the Thames Barrier. I was completely out of control. If you look at my face in those scenes, you can see I look utterly terrified. That was genuine!


You have given your fee for Car SOS to charity, haven’t you?

Yes. When they told me that would be a fee, it made perfect sense to donate it to WAVE Trauma Centre [the grass-roots, cross-community, voluntary organisation which supports people bereaved, injured or traumatised as a result of violence in Northern Ireland, of which James is Patron.] I’m privileged to be involved with WAVE. Its work is ongoing. In the same way that the healing in Billy’s family is ongoing, so the healing in Northern Ireland is ongoing. New cases keep coming up, and WAVE are constantly counselling new people. Every year more and more people feel able to talk about the trauma.


Finally, how do you think viewers will respond to the reveal at the end of this episode Car SOS?

Seeing Billy’s reaction today when the restored car was revealed, you couldn’t help but be moved – and I’m sure audiences will feel the same. We live in cynical times, but that felt like a very pure and true moment. There are so many TV programmes these days where the reality feels forced. But just occasionally, we see moments like this where we sense the impact it has on someone and feel that out of darkness rays of hope can come.



Car S.O.S premieres Thursday March 8 at 8pm on National Geographic

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