Driving instructors on road to being TV stars

Basingstoke Gazette: Colin Wilkinson, front, and Andy Heath are two AA Driving Instructors who are taking part in Channel 5's TV show about bad drivers. Colin Wilkinson, front, and Andy Heath are two AA Driving Instructors who are taking part in Channel 5's TV show about bad drivers.

TWO AA driving instructors from Basingstoke will star in a new TV series about dangerous driving.

Colin Wilkinson and Andy Heath will feature in the first episode of Channel 5’s Dangerous Drivers’ School, which starts on Wednesday, at 8pm.

Every week, viewers will watch instructors help some of the UK’s worst drivers change their ways.

Andy, a 41-year-old father-of-two, had the challenge of helping Tara Self, from Southampton – a care worker who has been driving for four years, but never on motorways.

She had a panic attack at the mere thought of motorway driving, but was determined to face her fear head on.

Andy, from Roman Park, who has been an AA driving instructor since 2002, said: “Going on the motorway after passing your test can be nerve-racking for the most confident of newly-qualified drivers.

“It was really rewarding helping Tara to overcome her motorway phobia, and I hope that when people watch the programme they realise they can get help with their driving issues.”

Forty-eight-year-old Colin, from Kempshott, had the challenge of helping Karen McGuinness, from Weymouth, with her nerves behind the wheel.

The father-of-one tried to build her confidence – but she soon began to wonder if her husband’s back-seat driving might have been the real cause of her nerves.

Colin has been an instructor with the AA for seven years, teaching in the Basingstoke area.

He said: “It was great to be involved in the filming and I’m excited about seeing the series, but the most important thing to me was helping Karen to become a safer driver.

“It’s amazing, and scary, to think everyone in the programme has a full driving licence. But driving is a skill you need to keep polished and it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits.”

To celebrate the launch of the programme, the AA Charitable Trust has made 2,000 drive confident and drive smart courses available free to qualified drivers across the country. Anyone interested in the course should visit theaa.com to register.

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