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Meet your TG TV presenters: Q&A with Rory Reid

Range Rovers, Haribo and Mario Kart... new TG host reveals all

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What’s your first car memory?

Being in a car crash. We were being driven by a family friend in his Lada and were rear-ended by another Lada. I’ve hated Ladas ever since.

Who taught you to drive, in what… and did you pass first time?

Family friends pitched in to show me the ropes in various cars, mostly in a rusty 1979 Ford Fiesta. But I’d be lying if I said Mario Kart didn’t give me the fundamentals of defensive driving.

Tell us about your best car…

My 1989 Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v was the car I’ve loved the most. I lusted after its big engine and that bonkers digital dash, so I saved up long and hard to buy one. Then I bolted on 17-inch Kahns, slammed it, threw on some drilled and grooved Brembos, added a K&N air filter and a high-performance exhaust.

Tell us about your worst car…

A Yugo. I tried to mod it with the exhaust from a VW Beetle. Everything I installed fell off. Then everything the factory had installed fell off.

What’s your current daily car?

A Ford Focus EcoBoost. Don’t diss the 1.0-litre turbo. It’s all about downsizing these days. 

What’s the car you most wish you’d owned?

A 1969 Chevy Corvette Stingray. I think it’s the most beautiful, badass car ever. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, and the Apollo 12 astronauts all drove matching Vettes. The Stingray of 1969 was the pick of the bunch.

What was the best drive of your life, and why was it so special?

On the launch of the new Range Rover in Morocco, I went off the path a bit, did donuts on the beach and then drove up the Atlas Mountains.

What’s your favourite road?

If I ever get the chance to blast through the A82 from Loch Lomond to Loch Ness, then I’m a happy bunny. 

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in a car?

I once drove a Range Rover off a bridge and into a river. The car was fine, but my pride took a dent.

What’s your favourite sitcom? 

Er… Friends? But if Matt’s not watching, then I do love a bit of Fresh Prince.

Favourite band?

Nirvana.

If you could buy just one car to last the rest of your life, what would it be?

Range Rover. It does everything.

Who’s your all-time favourite Formula One driver?

James Hunt. Then Lewis Hamilton.

What car are you most looking forward to driving on TG?

Ford Focus RS. Two words: drift mode.

Who will be quickest around the TopGear track?

Matt’s set the bar high, but he’s a target to be aimed at. Sabine is super handy, but don’t rule me out.

Who would be your dream guest for the next series of TopGear?

Eminem.

What’s in your rider?

Bags of Rowntrees Randoms and a large assortment of Haribo to wash it all down.

What motorsport event would you most like to compete in, in what car, in what era and why?

Late Nineties WRC, so I could watch in awe as Colin McRae handed me my backside, and maybe pick up a few tips.

Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive?

Really? Rear-wheel drive. Obvs.

What else do you have a licence for?

To thrill. I’ve also passed my CBT.

What’s your biggest fear/phobia?

Massive dogs and running out of Haribo.

What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone in a car and when?

I took a convertible Jaguar XKR-S to 186mph on a runway at Miramar Marine Air Station, where they shot Top Gun. Top down, obvs.

F1, NASCAR or WRC?

WRC. Because racing single file in a straight line is for chumps.

Who in history would you most like to have been driven by?

It would have been a thrill and a privilege to have driven with Ayrton Senna.

You have to drive from NYC to LA, you have four seats, who’s in the car with you, what’s on the iPod and what’s in the emergency snack cubby?

Rihanna, because you’d be guaranteed to get into an adventure of some sort. Jimmy Fallon, because he’s hilarious, and Stephen King to tell us stories. We wouldn’t bother much with the iPod, but it’d be loaded with Nineties gangsta rap. We’d have Haribo stuffed everywhere.

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