A grumpy perspective on the world of driving, covering topics such as misguiding sat navs, infuriating back-seat drivers, and the hell that is inner city gridlock.
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This programme contains some strong language
Cars - why is it that we are obsessed with them?
When we all know that it's virtually impossible
to get anywhere by road when reliant on four wheels.
The whole idea that people are interested in this machine.
This awful, dreadful machine which has ruined our world.
# Here in my car I feel safest of all... #
City centres grind to a halt,
motorways crawl at a snail's pace
and if by some miracle you actually get to where you're going,
you've got to play Russian roulette to find that one parking space
where you can only stay two hours until some jobsworth slaps with you a massive fine.
I love it when they say, "I've started writing the ticket,
"so I have to carry on",
and in my mind, I'm thinking, "I've started to kick you in the gonads,
"so I've got to carry on".
The frustrations of driving are legion -
avoiding those loony, Lycra-clad louts,
dodging speed cameras and hoping some bloody learner driver
doesn't take a pot shot at you.
It's no wonder that we see red.
Bus drivers - arseholes.
-Far too fast.
Massive four by fours.
Post Office van drivers.
Hell is other people and hell is other drivers,
so driving is hell.
Do you remember those wonderful, golden days of car travel?
Being driven to the coast with the family all together?
Well, in reality, they weren't bloody wonderful at all.
Or are we all suffering from some kind of collective amnesia?
Those journeys where fraught with tension and vomit
and sweets and arguments
and hell, really.
My dad, his idea of a holiday
was bursting into our room at three o'clock in the morning going,
"Come on, kids, get in the car. We're going away".
By four o'clock in the morning, we'd all be in the car
going to Penzance, Land's End, wherever he fancied, Blackpool.
We'd go on these long, long trips.
"Are we nearly there yet? Are we nearly there yet?" Smack.
They were great fun.
The most fun part was being in the car.
Smack on the hand, smack, then you'd smack your brother.
We would have packed the car the night before,
very meticulously, because there was so much stuff to take.
There was a specific order it had to go in.
We had a diagram of the boot of the car
which showed what had to go where.
We would have packed it up and we'd get up at 4.30,
get in, drive off and stop somewhere for breakfast.
The Happy Eater - that was brilliant.
With the man pointing to his mouth.
They always had a little climbing frame outside for the kids.
That was great! There was a Happy Eater on the way to Brighton.
I remember the Little Chef. Yes, source of many a joke.
One of my first jokes, I think, was Julian Clary saying,
"I just popped into a Little Chef, he didn't seem to mind".
Yeah, nightmarish, really. Yet, they seemed to go on for hours.
I mean, I drove to Devon not just the other day -
it only took two and a half hours,
it felt like we were in the car for about six months back then.
It was ridiculous. But obviously, we weren't.
And I was car sick and it was...
..hell, awful, really not good.
I remember just yawning and then yawning more and then yawning a lot
and Dad saying to me, "Please, stop. Tell me when you're..."
And I'd go... And my dad would go, "What's that?"
There was not much to do on the journey
and my father was fantastic at making up games.
One of them was Pub Legs.
I don't know if anyone ever played that but it was a great game.
My sister and I would sit in the back seat
and you would count the legs in the pub signs
that went past you, pub names on your side of the road.
So, if you went past the Queens Head - no legs there.
But if you passed The Cricketers - 22 legs, you see.
So, you'd add those up all the way through - great game.
When we were young, you didn't even have a seat belt.
You were just, sort of, chucked in the back
and left to fight with your sister, really.
We had a little I-SPY book -
I-SPY Road Signs and things like that.
So, the 17 hours to Bournemouth in the back of a VW Beetle
just flew by, as you can imagine.
The best thing about driving in those days
was when the mileometer would change to a load of noughts.
So, we'd get in the journey to Bournemouth or something
and it would be 28,723 miles.
My dad would say,
"There's a good chance that we'll hit 29,000 on this trip".
The excitement of all the nines changing to noughts...
I mean, the thought of missing it!
He'd give us a countdown - "We're ten miles away".
We'd think, "We can't miss the nines changing to the noughts,
"it's the most exciting thing."
Eventually, you'd see those nines going around
and they'd all become noughts and you'd go, "Wow, wow.
"The nines have all become noughts.
According to Freud, women lack something us men have,
and we all know what that something is.
It's the ability to understand why we are so fascinated
with all things motorised.
After all, the car is the perfect symbol of masculine power.
Shiny, speedy and sexy.
There's an expression goes,
"A man would rather admit to being crap in bed,
"than being a bad driver".
There is that thing that men will say,
"The size of the car equates to the size of the sexual organ".
Well, I go everywhere by train.
I've got a big car cos I've got a small cock. It's obvious.
It's something they can get close to that wont answer back
and they have complete control over.
It's the perfect girlfriend.
Father - obsessed with cars.
Brother's obsessed with cars.
Everything was cars.
I loved Scaletrix and of course Formula One
and rally driving and everything.
When Magnatraction came in for the Scaletrix,
it revolutionised the whole speed
that you could take a car round the little plastic track.
Action men were forced into cars -
their legs straddled, they couldn't bend -
forced into cars that were obviously too small for them.
I don't have that relationship with cars.
They are just a piece of metal with a big engine, four doors and wheels
and they take you from one place to another.
Whereas I know there are men who have relationships...
I mean, there are men who will have sex with their car.
I've been told that. I haven't seen it on the Internet.
There's a craze for dogging, these days.
That wouldn't really be my kind of thing.
It doesn't involve eating.
But we do have an estate now, so we would actually have room
to fall asleep listening to the radio.
That's about as near as I get to dogging these days.
I can't get involved in all that sexual shenanigans any more.
These days, I need three days notice, a Labour government and a splint.
And nothing tests the gender divide
like letting the other half behind the wheel...
..while you have to sit there terrified, paralysed
and in need of a change of underwear.
When it comes to driving, I like me, in my car,
my music, my Midget Gems, my rules. That's the way it's got to be.
I think men, in general, have got a different way of driving than women.
I mean, it's personality, isn't it?
If there's somebody behind me and they're right up against me,
you can bet it's a bloke.
Do you want me to do this or...?
No, Kathleen, men are better drivers.
The issue is that I don't really want to drive cos I like being driven.
But whilst being driven,
I also like it to be understood that I am the better driver.
So, I like it to be, yeah, a general agreement
that if I were to be driving, I would be the better driver,
but I want him to drive.
-Kathleen, use your mirrors!
-I know it's there.
You virtually went into him. I am scared with your driving.
You've got no need to be scared of me driving.
If women were female men, then everything would be fine.
Unfortunately, they're a different species
and therefore, drive like a different species.
If only I could stop the car,
there'd be no problems.
I consider myself a very good driver.
But then, I'm quite patient. I'm quite calm behind the wheel
so I always think that I'm quite a good driver
but then, as soon as I get in the car with my husband,
I become, like...
She drives really close to other cars, you know.
I don't know what it is.
Maybe she likes the haircuts of the drivers in the cars in front.
If we're in the car and the person in front does something,
not ridiculously stupid but fairly stupid,
on a scale of one to ten, maybe a five,
my husband will go, "Oh, stupid cow".
You know, "Poor old dear", or whatever and I always go, "Yes!"
when we drive past and it's actually a bloke.
Oh, this is hard going, Kath. Seriously.
I'll keep you right.
Do I laugh or do I cry?
It's amazing how we can get in the car together
and everything is rosy
and we're literally heading for the divorce courts towards the end of the journey.
Think for yourself, Richard.
Turn left, here.
I don't understand the expression "back-seat driver".
It should be passenger-seat driver.
Well, I don't know why "back-seat"?
I don't know many blokes that drive around
with their wives sat in the back seat.
Yeah, she's the one who does what I call "girl noises".
So, if she's sitting next to me in the car and we go around a bend...
I'm not talking about being near traffic or hitting anything, either,
I'm just talking about a tight bend,
you get that noise. You get that kind of, "Oooh".
"Ooh, ooh!" Or, you know... I often say to her,
"Are your brakes working, as well, love?"
Richard, you're so close to the edge, it's unbelievable. Get over!
"Have I ever crashed a car with you in it, you know? No.
"Have I ever been near crashing? No."
She'll go, "I know I'm a bad passenger".
When you're driving along and you see someone break ahead of you,
you both notice it at the same time.
I will do something about it and at the same time,
she's pressing her imaginary brake and going, "Look!"
And I'm like, "I can see it! I'm right here with you.
"The brake lights are on, he has stopped,
"I have stopped in plenty of time.
"The fact that you yelled isn't helping!"
James! Watch, James!
The only time that our relationship becomes fraught
is when we're on four wheels.
But apart from that, we're all right, really, you know,
cos we don't talk.
I think if we go somewhere as a family, I usually drive,
but that's because my wife falls asleep
as soon as I start the ignition.
It used to annoy me in the early days of our courtship that she wouldn't talk to me.
Now, of course, it's a blessed relief to all of us.
-You're sat there like Jim Jim.
-This is the easiest...
-You're sat there like Jim Jim.
-Are you going to listen?
And although we are excellent drivers,
there are lots of people who really shouldn't be allowed on the road.
You know the ones -
those stalling, swerving, non-indicating idiots
who shouldn't be let out of the house,
let alone given control of a potential death trap.
-Whoa! For Christ's sake!
-What's the matter with you?
-What did you do that for?
-That car was up your arse.
On my 17th birthday, my present, gift,
was a driving lesson,
and I passed when I was 22.
So, 200 lessons, passed fifth time.
I was a natural, really.
Coming from Swanley in Kent, if you were a boy and you got to 18
and you hadn't got your driving licence,
people would go, "Are you queer or what?"
I had, like, a really creepy driving instructor.
"Just imagine there is a pot of gold on the edge of your bonnet.
"Why would you spill it? You wouldn't".
I never wanted to learn to drive. I never saw the point of it.
I never lusted after the car,
I never lusted after the so-called freedom that it gives you.
The only reason I took my test, or started to learn,
was because I fancied a girl called Margo when I was 17
and Margo liked the man who had the flashy car.
She didn't want intelligence, she didn't want sporting ability,
she didn't want someone who could play Scrabble - madness!
She wanted someone who had a big car who could take her nice places.
So, for Margo, I started to learn to drive
and I had the first lesson with my father
and ended up turning right into Offenham from Evesham
and ended up in a ditch.
Look out! Cliff!
I don't think I went in a car again for about three years.
Driving instructors keep standing me up.
I had three in a row that either didn't turn up
or turned up over an hour late,
or turned up and gave me a lesson and never returned my calls again.
I started to get so paranoid.
Am I saying, "Hello, I'd like a driving lesson",
or am I going, "Hello, I'd like to marry you"?
-That was a lousy lesson. The worst one you've ever had.
The nice ending to the story was that I didn't impress Margo.
I bought a bicycle instead and impressed her best friend,
who actually had a better sense of humour and larger tits.
-Oh, this is a nice, wide road, isn't it?
-Yes, isn't it.
There's an aeroplane. I want to get out!
My first test, it started very badly,
because what I realised was that my instructor that I'd had up to that point had never...
When he picked me up for a lesson,
he would leave the engine running and get out of the car
and go into the passenger seat and I would get into the driver's seat.
So, when it came to my test,
I got into the car with this quite stern lady tester
and I started pressing the pedals and moving the steering wheel
and the engine just wasn't making a noise.
I was terribly nervous and said,
"I'm really sorry, the car isn't working",
and she said, "Well, you do have to turn the key in the ignition".
At that point, I realised that I had never done that.
Stop. Stop. Stop.
I was so nervous. At the start of the test...
There are all new things you do now that you never used to.
Like, for instance, you show the instructor where you change the oil
and how you test the oil. You know, things like that.
We were outside the car and he goes, "I'm going to check the vehicle is road worthy.
"You get in",
and I got in the passenger door.
There isn't even a thing on the form for that.
He couldn't even mark me down for that cos there's nowhere to go...
..driver appears to be an idiot. That's not on the form.
All of my lessons were pretty awful and I was pretty rubbish at them,
but when I went for the test,
the guy who was testing me, this guy in south London, he was fantastic.
He was quite obviously gay
and he was part of the amateur operatic society down there,
where I was doing my test,
and they were doing Oklahoma in a couple of weeks.
# When the wind comes sweeping down the plain... #
So, the whole test, we went through all the songs in Oklahoma
cos I'm a big musical fan, you know.
I don't think I looked in the rear-view mirror once.
Didn't do anything like that. I nearly hit the kerb.
There was somebody I saw, I kind of waved at them.
We just went through Oh, What A Beautiful Morning,
Oklahoma - had a great time. Passed on the spot.
I am pleased to tell you, you've passed.
The one time I drove when I passed my test,
I thought, "I'll give it a go". I drove to Coventry from Evesham.
So, I thought "I'll do this now, without my dad. I'll go on my own".
As I set off, I thought,
"Right, now, is there a way of going to Coventry
"without doing any right turns?"
And I tried to find the way to Coventry
where I only had to do left turns.
My first journey after passing was from London to Lancaster.
I have never been so tense.
I did the whole thing like a 70-year-old woman, like that,
in this tiny little Fiat Panda, like that.
And when I got out, I literally walked like that,
cos I was so stiff.
It was the worst journey of my life!
Old people, bless them, can be very sweet.
I mean, you can learn things from old people
but bugger all about driving.
My nan shouldn't have been allowed to drive,
I don't think, towards the end. Bless her.
I do think we should have another driving test for the elderly...
Sorry, Nan! Sorry! She just came out...
# When you came in the air went out... #
And when finally, you get the car moving,
you'd better not stop anywhere.
Because if you do, there's always a uniformed bloodsucker
waiting to sink its teeth into your bank account.
I can't suspend the bank. Now, I'm parking.
Why are you giving me a ticket, mate?
That's my colleague's, yeah?
I'm not ready...
-That's not the case at all.
I think traffic wardens these days are like gangsters.
The modern Krays, aren't they?
They're all in touch with each other.
They even started wearing cameras because of the abuse.
Yeah, abuse. It's not really abuse, is it?
It's people moaning, people complaining.
I have a lot of problems with the traffic wardens.
You can even see them poised if,
for instance, where you've got to get your ticket from,
if you haven't parked near it, so it's 50 meters away,
they will ticket you in the time it takes to go and get a ticket.
I saw, I swear to God, you couldn't have made it up,
I saw three traffic wardens around a disabled person's car
outside a doctor's surgery,
almost getting off on putting a ticket on it.
It was almost like some sort of dodgy orgy.
"Have you written the ticket yet?"
-I've got an heavy
-load to load and unload.
-It's got 20 minutes.
-It's been there two hours.
They're not. That is the whole point.
Do you want to calm down, yeah? Calm down.
Calm down or I won't talk to you.
I love it when they say,
"I've started writing the ticket so I have to carry on"
and in my mind, I'm thinking, "I've started to kick you in the gonads,
"so I've got to carry on".
All this thing where they are supposed to give you three minutes.
Do they fanny give you three minutes.
You come racing out of the door and they... I just...I just...
I hate it so much, this whole thing.
It's just a money-making exercise. It's a tax, it's another tax.
That's all it is.
The best ticket I ever got was I parked in a place
and bought the ticket, put the ticket on the windscreen
and I got there before the ticket expired
and they had given me a parking ticket.
And I wrote off and sent a photocopy of the ticket I had got and they then
sent back a thing saying they would have to investigate it.
They wrote an angry letter again that this was all holding up their procedures and so on,
and about three or four exchanges went backwards and forwards and eventually they sent a letter saying
that they would on this one occasion let me off, but in future I should display the ticket more clearly!
So even then, it was, like, my fault!
Like if you go into a shop and buy a pint of milk and pay the bloke the money
and then the police will come in and arrest you for stealing the milk and then there is film of you paying
for it and they say, "In future, can you pay more clearly and then that won't happen to you, will it?!"
I'm pretty good at not being caught. In fact, I can count
on one hand the amount of parking tickets I've had.
I am so borderline spectrum behaviour, you know.
I put timers on my iPhone or any other unbranded smart phone and I don't normally get caught out,
but this one time, I did get caught by this Nigerian.
It's such a stereotype, but there do seem to be a lot of Nigerian traffic wardens.
I've no idea why, but he was brilliant and it was totally worth every penny
of the 60 quid, because I was really angry and he was completely serene
and would not be disturbed in any way and I said, "Mate, I'm a moment late!"
And I'm not making this up, these were his exact words, right. I was only a moment late and he went
"What is a moment? A moment could be a minute - or a lifetime."
And I thought, "Woah" and he said "£60, please."
They are made to be like that, really. I think there probably will
come a day when there will some Nuremburg-type situation and they will be told
that it's no defence that they were only following orders.
# Another one bites the dust And another one, and another one
# Another one bites the dust... #
I've been clamped, I've been clamped. I hate those fricking clampers.
I've never understood the point of clamping.
It's a revenue technique, isn't it? And it's a revenue technique
that is...reminiscent of Parkhurst or something.
I mean, how can you lock up my car?
I will willingly pay your ticket, your fine and everything,
but a 100 and odd pounds to have a clamp removed by a privateer?
No, no, they deserve shooting. That's an excuse for gangsterism, isn't it?
Why don't you have the decency to say, "Can you move your motor?"
Our job is to make sure that cars aren't illegally parked.
You're one arsehole creeping BLEEP.
That's not the case, at all, that's not the case at all.
I've been very close to going and getting and fetching or buying a baseball bat and saying,
"Your shins or that clamp - one of them has got to go."
Another happy punter(!)
(Wankers, aren't they?)
I've been put in the pound a couple of times. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Not the dog pound. I've had my car taken away.
Actually, I used to have my car taken away quite a lot.
I used to live in Hampstead and my permit had run out. For some reason,
I just couldn't be bothered to get another permit, so I just used to park it and they would take
it to the pound. I'd get on the tube, pick it up from Kentish Town. £30.
Tonight, Richard wets himself in a small hatchback...
We play conkers with caravans...
And a clash of the titans - Aston versus Ferrari on our track.
The idea of watching Top Gear is a total anathema to me.
It's probably in my top five ideas of torture
would be being told to watch Top Gear for any more than 30 seconds.
I can't bear it, the whole idea of those people who are interested
in this machine, this awful dreadful machine, which has ruined our world.
Ah, yes, Top Gear. Soft porn for the petrolhead.
Teasing and tantalising the viewer with sleek exteriors,
revs per minute, size of your engine and how ruddy fast you can go nought to 60...
I don't care what, someone asked me what my car, you know, what does it do nought to 60 in?
I don't know, half an hour? I don't know, what should it do, you know?
I mean, I can't do nought to 60, because I come out of my driveway into a 40 mile an hour zone,
so it usually takes me until I get to the motorway, about quarter of an hour.
The sound of V8 thunder...
..all fronted by three menopausal fellas, who really should know better.
I don't know what torque is.
They talk about torque. I thought torque was some
kind of paper you used to clean kitchen surfaces with in hotels.
Top Gear represents the type of stuff I really hate.
That terrifying blokey energy, where I never know what to do when I am in a room of men like that.
It's like, "My car is more powerful than yours!"
And they just turn to me and I don't answer and they'd say, "Get him in the van, let's use him like a girl".
"Top Gear can eat BLEEP and die."
I hate it, actually. I hate Top Gear
because I hate the presenters.
I just hate them.
Its an eco calculator from Renault. You charge it up doing this...
I can't be too rude, I can't be too graphic, but it's quite
clear what's happening with those guys, isn't it, you know?
I mean, it's kind of, well, I don't want to go into detail really, but we know what they're really doing.
We know what they're really showing each other.
We know what they're comparing.
I don't know what was wrong with solar power, personally.
Some people find this comes more naturally.
-The two litre VTEC
-in this is astonishing.
This car can reach top speeds of...
-You know when you drive some cars, you get a sense that the car is smiling when you are driving.
'And the one who looks like he's been taken to BHS by his girlfriend - James May.'
He always looks like a old hippy and his girlfriend said,
"Come on, we've got to give you a makeover, take you to BHS, get you some nice clothes".
Bloody caravans. I love it when Mr Clarkson or Mr Hammond destroy them.
Top Gear have destroyed several caravans, so the root of it is a force for good...clearly.
I absolutely don't give a flying fish about those boys on Top Gear -
nor their opinions, nor the fact that, actually, they don't have
any person who has been in a soap opera on their show.
I tell you what, The Top Gear day out is probably the best days of your life.
Too much wheel spin.
Burning round that track, with an instructor telling you how to go quicker.
And I was point something of a second away from Jay Kay, as well.
We've had one record go last week, we've had another one go this week. 49. You're quicker than me, mate.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
I cant tell you how pleased I am.
Only to be slaughtered a couple of weeks later, the pair of us, by Jodie Kidd.
I begged them to let me back on, but they still haven't.
Karl Benz has a lot to answer for.
When he invented the car back in 1885,
he also invented the previously unknown side effect we now call "road rage".
Car travel is like sitting in your own personal space.
You can lock all the doors, close all your windows - you're safest of all.
That is, of course, until someone else cuts you up.
Then, all of a sudden, you are a car-driving caveman, a 21st-Century troglodyte,
a cursing, swearing, gesticulating ball of anger.
Your territory has been invaded and, suddenly, the air, like the traffic lights, turns red.
Hell is other people, and hell is other drivers.
So, driving is hell.
Bus drivers - arseholes.
-Massive four by fours in town.
-Fricking rickshaws get on my nerves.
I hate you people, I hate you.
Shopmobility, those things.
If I had to pick one group, I would say the worst are the Post Office van drivers.
Post Office workers, when the gates open and they come out like bees - but like bees whose nest is on fire.
They don't care, they drive like they are in dodgems. They just don't care.
Road rage is a very odd thing.
I don't know why, just because somebody
manoeuvres slightly incorrectly, or does something which inconveniences you for perhaps a couple of seconds.
You know all the...
How does it elevate from that to that?
Get out of my bloody way, you useless..."
I have rage, I do get angry, I have got out of my car
on a couple of occasions, but when I realised it was
an elderly man, who looked quite frail, I sort of went..."Ooooh".
You stupid cow!
We drive on the left-hand side!
It is really embarrassing when the skinny guy who uses
straighteners gets road rage because it's all the more pathetic. I almost wrote off my first car.
I lost my temper, and pulled the manual gear stick
and pulled the gears out through the engine and broke the gearbox when I lost my temper.
I've ripped a sun visor off.
"You could get a bus through there, you idiot! You shouldn't be allowed to drive!"
I have become a really, really awful person. There is no doubt about it.
I have become incredibly violent and my language is very bad.
I have to be careful now, because I've got a young child in the back.
Just at that age when they might start picking stuff up, so I can't do my usual language.
But yeah, I've become, I can take quite a lot, I think, but if I'm pushed too far, I'll have a go.
I do shouting, swearing, I'll do the finger.
I do like as you're driving away, the gesture between the headrests, in silhouette.
I think that's quite cool.
An angry motorist is a bad motorist.
-Yes... An angry motorist is a bad motorist.
-Right. And a happy motorist is a good motorist.
I've actually had, I was on Dartmouth Park Hill, which is just
off Highgate Hill, during rush hour, the traffic was awful and we were driving down and there was one guy,
it was very tight and very narrow, and as he drew up parallel to me, I said, "You know, you could
"have waited a couple of minutes there and we would all have been sailing sweetly down here."
He jumps out of his window, into my car and got hold of me round the neck.
Did you beep?
Ummm, yes, sorry.
Why? Why? Why?!
I've got a crowbar in the back. I'm going to bring it over and shove it through your window.
It's a good job I had a bunch of boys in the car with me.
They all started laying into him,
as I am sure he would have killed me.
That's road rage. And I had merely pointed out that he was a terrible driver.
That terrible thing when you catch up with the driver and you haven't planned what you are going to do.
It's like, "I've caught you up!" Then just drive off again.
"I could of decked him, babe".
-Come on, you
Men are quite good at ruining the whole day just because of a driving experience.
You'll be getting ready for a party, it's been a really nice evening, and then is a traffic jam
on the North Circular and the man will be going,
"Oh, for Christ's sake, the whole evening is completely f'd up!"
And then he'll carry that anger with him for the whole evening and make sure it ruins
the whole evening, whereas the woman normally, I am making a massive stereotype here, but a good one,
the women will go, "Look, we got there on time, OK? We're at the party, it doesn't matter."
And the man will be, "Because I've slightly gone into a temper,
"I will now hang onto it and ruin your entire evening, all right?"
Motorists are being asked to be more courteous to each other.
The RAC and the Polite Society say road rage is causing an increasing number of accidents.
I am unequivocally, ideologically speaking,
completely and utterly opposed to capital punishment.
However, there is one exception,
which is these people who you pull over to let them come past,
when there's not room for two cars, and they go by and they don't even say "Thanks".
I'd hang those bastards.
Sometime I think, when people know they are doing a sneaky pull out, they don't indicate,
because if they indicate, you will say, "No, I don't think so!"
And you'll close the gap. So I can understand why people do things like that.
But on a narrow street, you stop and you let someone go, wave. If you don't wave at me,
I feel like reversing in their way and keying their car.
I wouldn't hesitate, just as the trap door was going...
.."That's all it took".
Honestly, I've wound down my window and gone, "Where's my wave?
"Wave, you ignorant bastard!"
That's all it takes.
That's it, that's all I ask for.
And it's very important.
Cast your mind back to when cycling was a pleasurable pastime.
Weaving through country lanes, feeling the fresh air on your face
and trustingly leaving your bike against a pub wall whilst enjoying half a cider.
Today, cycling is more like a white-knuckle ride,
with lyrca-clad loonies zipping in between lorry-laden lanes,
jumping red lights, cycling on the pavement.
They simply have no regard for us fossil-fuelled folk who actually pay road tax.
# I want to ride my bike I want to ride my bicycle
# I want to ride it where I like. #
I think cyclists should be taxed like the rest of us.
And if they jump a red light, we should be allowed to tazer them.
If I've jumped a red light, I've always gone by the book.
I've gotten off the bike, and pushed it through the red light, and gotten back on it again.
"You can't touch me, copper, I know the rules."
I can't stand it when cyclists jump red lights and getting off the bike
and walking through the red light and then getting back on it,
that is still jumping it.
I just love the way that they've got this rule - red lights, not for them.
"No, no, no, we're on two wheels. That's different. Kind of. Sort of."
# Don't stop me now. #
I said, calm down, or I will nick you, all right?
-I've come to go to work...
-I said, calm down.
I spent a long time as a cyclist, because I didn't have a driver's licence.
I pretended it was for environmental reasons, but it was just because
I hadn't bothered my arse to get a driving licence.
So I sympathise with the cyclist, but, you know, some do take the piss.
This whole, treat them like a small car.
Well, act like you're driving a small car.
Small cars don't go across zebra crossings.
We recycle all our food for the chickens, we do this, we do that,
but I cannot stand cyclists on the road. Get in a car.
-Sound your horn.
-There's no need. It's to turn right.
For the cyclist. Don't just go tearing past and surprise him.
Let him know we're coming. Sound your horn.
They are so horrendous, they're awful. They come banging on your windscreen. You know, "Get out!"
It's like "Get out of the road.
"Look at the size of my car, look at your bike.
"One of us is going to win and it's not going to be you, so take your lycra shorts and get out".
The only thing which really gets me now, and it's happened in London and other major cities,
because of "environmental issues - we've got to be so green in the cities" -
is that, I'll be at the lights, and they'll be like two cyclists in front of me waiting to take off.
And then suddenly, like smug ninjas, they seem to come out of the trees,
they come out of the drains, and there's like 30 of them.
By the time the last one, Cresssida, has taken off on her bike,
the lights have gone red again.
You've got 300 cars sitting there going, "I pay my taxes for this".
And they're going, " I'm going to kiss a tree".
We've invested all our hard-earned cash on a flash new motor,
but it isn't long before something goes wrong.
Something always goes wrong.
The local grease monkey will confirm the diagnosis and then work out a price,
by thinking of a number, doubling it, adding VAT and then laughing up his proverbial sleeve.
Doh! You vicious bastard!
There is always that worry of bringing your car to the mechanic.
is that intake of breath, isn't it? "Phhhhwwww."
-It will cost you.
Normally, they just fold their hands and go, "Eeh, Shobna what you been doing?"
I don't have any experience of mechanics, but I do know a good trick.
If you are a woman, and you have any dealings with mechanics, plumbers, anything like that,
what you do, is you tell them that your dad is a mechanic, and he usually sorts out your car,
but he's on holiday at the moment. And then they don't treat you like you're an idiot
who doesn't know she's being charged through the roof for a bit of spit and polish.
Here, come and look at this.
It's all changed, cars now have kind of computers, you've no idea what's going on.
Your average mechanic probably could fix it, but it's got to be hooked up
to the right kind of computer, which again is just a way of them charging you whatever they say it is.
There have been times, as a woman, when I go, "You are talking to me like I'm an idiot."
Oh, blimey, there's a bald tyre here.
Oh, yeah, well, never mind, the other three are all right, we'll have them.
Do you know what I think is horrible about cars made in the last
five or six years, is all the computerised beeping it does at you.
I want to smash the thing when it does that.
My one beeps for about eight different reasons every time you turn the ignition on. I cringe, I cringe.
I'd rather it bloody played Dido at me.
Well, don't say I didn't warn you!
I've laid it on the line to you time and time again!
Right, this is it, I'm going to give you a damn good thrashing!
I took this car in because a light was up, right?
And the local garage guy I usually deal with said, "I can't fix this,
"because it needs to be hooked up to a diagnostic computer",
which is a word they've just made up, it doesn't mean anything, you know.
And I took this car in and he said, "What's wrong with it?"
I said, "It's stopped."
And he said, "Well, do you know anything more than that"
And I said "That's what I'm here."
I hate it. You turn it on... "Beep!
I decide when it needs a service, not you!
"Beep". Oil. A little oil thing comes up
and you can fill it with oil, you could spray oil, you could put it in,
you could get one of BP's leaks and shove the car over the top of it
so it was awash with oil, and you'd turn on the ignition and it would go, "Beep - oil".
There is no amount of oil that will satisfy it.
I think it was £70 an hour diagnostics.
I don't know whether that's expensive diagnostics or cheap diagnostics.
I don't even know what diagnostics are, so it's very difficult for me to judge.
And I phoned him back and he's like "Oh, it's been on an hour and a bit and the faults not come up yet."
And I said, "You're telling me I'm paying you £70 an hour and you still don't know what it is."
I didn't know what the fault was when I brought it here, and now I am £70 worse off
"and we still don't know what's wrong with it".
Something else, beep, brake pads, beep, I need a wash,
beep, I don't like you, I want a different driver, beep,
beep, you've smashed my dashboard.
Just a hundred things it's telling you off about.
When we were little boys zipping around our Scalextrix set,
there were no restrictions to our racing pleasure.
Now, us wannabe Lewis Hamiltons can't creep and inch
over the speed limit without someone taking our mug shot.
I've got a point for going at,
watch my lips, 37 miles per hour.
I will admit, I've already got three points and I've only been driving for two years, so...
No! Wrong, wrong! Not 37 - 33 miles an hour.
33 miles an hour. I've got three points.
They should turn those cameras off at night. There's no traffic, it shouldn't matter.
Yeah, it was the middle of the day, and there was plenty of traffic.
We must have all been done. I was only going the same speed as everyone else.
After I got the points, they switched the speed cameras off.
You know some points for when you've only just gone over, you know, you weren't doing 70, you were
maybe doing 34 miles an hour, but technically they can get you, that's just irritating when that happens.
I defy anyone to make me move any quicker.
You see, I told you, it's going too fast again.
You know when the speed cameras are coming, because they have those little white lines, so why don't
you just go really slowly over those bits, then speed up, then
go really slowly over those bits and then speed up, it takes about 20 minutes off your journey.
I know that's naughty, but I do do that sometimes,
and everyone else if doing it, so I don't feel so bad.
It's ridiculous, otherwise, you would do 50 miles an hour
through all the traffic cones, there's no-one working, you know, nothing's being done.
Oh, that grinds my gears.
The French decided, to a man, when they were putting
speed cameras in, that they'd go out and smash them all up, and they did.
And so they put them all back in, they went back again the next week, and smashed them all again.
Vive La France!
They tried to introduce them in America. There's a masked man,
like a superhero, goes round with an angle grinder...and they don't know who he is. Good luck to you, mate!
As a driver, you fantasise of miles and miles of open road, a ribbon of highway that
caresses its way through the beautiful British countryside.
And to that end, the motorway was constructed and the fantasy became a reality.
But that soon turned into a ruddy nightmare, as every other bugger
decided they wanted to use the new superhighway, too.
Now we spend wasted hours creeping along bumper to bumper, hour after hour, getting nowhere fast.
Driving in England isn't really like driving, because you are
generally just in one giant queue, and that goes from
Wandsworth to just north of Birmingham and then
you might be able to get to fourth gear when you get past Birmingham.
If you've got a fifth gear in your car you might hit it near Scotland.
It's like one giant traffic jam, England.
I always say, for a really super bank holiday treat,
you've got to go a long way to beat four and a half hours staring up a horse's bottom.
The thing about motorways is that they seem to close them all the time.
You know, anytime someone looses a wheel nut or something, they close about three lanes.
You know, it's like... I think we're all reasonable people.
You know there's going to be traffic jams some of the time, but if you queue and queue and queue
and you get past it, and it's on the other side and everyone has slowed down to have a look.
I want a proper accident to justify my waiting time.
I don't expect to see, you know, a Vauxhall Chevette in the middle lane that's got
a wing mirror knocked off and they close the whole motorway for that.
They close them all the time. When I was a kid, you whizzed past scenes of absolute carnage.
You start to think,
"Am I ever going to get to where I'm going?
"Am I maybe going to spend the rest of my life here?"
You know, a bit like prisoners must think when they've done about
ten years and there is no hint of parole or remission or anything.
And you think,
"I suppose I am just going to have to come to terms with the fact that this is my life now."
I wish I was dead.
I wish you were dead.
Then I'd get some peace.
You get there and you think, "Well, at least I want
"a lorry upside down, or something on fire."
Something that involves five or six fire engines. At least that!
Oh, there's just a bit of broken glass. Is that it?
Is that all it takes to bring the whole country to a standstill?
God, Hitler needn't have bothered with the Luftwaffe,
he should have just sprinkled some broken glass on the M25.
-What are you looking up?
-Here we are - hell on earth.
Think we might have taken a wrong turning.
The thing that really bugs me about motorways now is people who will not shift out of the middle lane.
Two-thirds of the motorway has never been used because they are all over here.
Get over there. I feel weird if I'm in the middle, you know.
And there not always, kind of, old people drive in the middle lane a lot.
I don't know why, because they were all taught not to.
What is wrong with pulling over, you know, people don't seem to want to go into any gaps.
In France, they love a gap. They go in there. In England...
OK, you know, if you want to go 75 or 80 miles an hour, I know it's illegal.
But then you've got Mr Jobsworth Dickhead in the car in front
who only wants to go at 70 miles an hour and so everyone must go at 70 miles an hour.
Even though the lorry he's trying to overtake is a mile ahead.
They should be shot, those people.
# This ain't no technological breakdown
# Oh, no, this is the road to hell. #
What gets to me, is sometimes if you are driving along in the middle lane and there's nothing on the road,
you get one of those guys who comes up on the inside lane and sits behind you and then goes
round you, and then deliberately goes back into the inside lane, as if to prove a point.
This is what you are supposed to be doing.
I get really, "Yeah, very good, I should been in the inside lane, thank you for the demo."
They want to show you how proficient they are at driving, so they start
in that lane, then they'll go out, then they go in again, they go out.
In the meantime, you are like that in the car, you feel sick,
the picnic's spilt. It's a nightmare, the baby's crying,
poo everywhere. Just because they want to show you how brilliant they are at swerving in and out.
Just stay in the middle lane, doesn't matter.
If someone wants to overtake, they can go that way or that way.
What annoys me is when people go straight into the inside lane,
straight into the middle lane and then straight onto the outside lane.
And they tend to use that slip road as some sort of launch pad.
They don't want to judge the speed of it, at all.
I want a police car right there, right then and then I want them arrested immediately,
taken to a studio, a TV studio and I want them flogged live, by Noel Edmonds in a gimp suit.
It's an amazing invention.
Sat there on the dashboard is a contraption that
triangulates beams from three satellites orbiting the Earth
to pinpoint your exact position and then tells you where to go,
which is usually from here to nowhere.
I've programmed the TomTom to direct us to where my cousin lives.
'After 50 yards, turn right.'
'In 50 yards, turn right.'
IMITATES ALEC GUINNESS: 'I'm the Obi-Wan Kenobi one. The force will be with you.
'Take the second exit at the roundabout.'
I think satnavs are generally hopeless.
But to be fair, I don't think you can blame the satnav,
it's that people put one in and then think that they can
just go into a coma and not have to think, or look at anything, because the satnav will tell you.
So they deliberately tell you to go the longest way, the wrong way, the opposite way.
A satnav now, if you programmed it to say, I want to get to that cupboard,
the satnav would say, go over there first. "No, the cupboards there,
"you could reach and get it." "No, no, it says go that way."
I can even put the satnav on to go to my local pub, which is only 100
yards down the road, and it will take me three miles round to get to it.
Shortest route? Don't think so.
The first one that I bought, regardless of where I asked
it to direct me to, took me over the Dartford crossing.
I took it back and got another one and found it had no maps.
Got a third one and when I opened it up it was in Spanish.
SATNAV "SPEAKS" SPANISH
I find them unbearable, and also, you know, you can out your journey in, and put it on the thing and then
it takes ages for it to work it out, you've already gone the wrong way. 20 minutes the wrong way.
Waste of time.
You get these people driving these 400-foot great lorries with about eight tonnes of concrete in it,
and they're in the countryside and they end up going up a bridle path.
Don't they think, "There's a couple of horses coming the other way
"and there's a tree in front of me and a stile, I'd better go over it".
"You get off my land!"
"It's not your land, the satnav says this is the way to Crewe."
How... It's just... Don't they think?!
-I've turned right and where do I go from here?
-'Go straight on.'
It's private property, no trespassing, high voltage and there's also danger of death.
If you put you life in the hands of a satnav, you will be,
you can get in trouble. I remember going to the Isle of Wight
with some lads for a crazy golf weekend, not many people do that!
We did a crazy golf weekend in the Isle of Wight and it was brilliant.
And we wanted to get back to Southampton Airport
and I put Southampton Airport in it and it came up.
And I went, "Brilliant"! Anyway, we drove for a bit and not knowing the area, we ended up on
a council estate next to an electricity sub-station
and there's a bloke in the garden and he went "Satnav? Airport?"
And I went "Yeah, like, what's this, Derren Brown?"
The only satnav I would have, and I heard that you can get them, is you can get a satnav
with Joanna Lumley's voice, and I would get that - "No, darling, you've gone the wrong way."
I am sure, as a result of satnavs, people have forgotten where north, south, east and west are.
You've got to go west on such and such a street. Oh!
Left, west, west, left.
West is, no, that's east... west.
Old people - ask them where north, south, east and west is. They'll tell you.
The TomTom voice I have downloaded is an Irish one.
It's on there as standard, but it's got one fault,
it can't say you have reached your destination, so it's really funny.
It sounds like he is being so friendly that he feels like he doesn't have to finish the sentence.
So he does everything normally, "Turn right, in 400 yards."
And then it goes, "In 100 yards you've..."
and then there is just a gap, as if he's saying. "I think we all know you've reached
"your destination No need to state it!"
My father didn't really like cars either. As far as he was
concerned, he'd say, "A car is there to get you from A to B."
A lot of people say that.
And I admire those people, although I do think they are responsible for a lot of chaos and congestion,
as surely someone at some point has got to go from B to A.
If everyone is going from A to B, it's bound to result in congestion.
Someone has got to start saying, "I have a car to get me from B to A"
And then eventually someone is going to want to go to C and that will even
better for us, as I am sure that is why there is so much congestion.
This sign means through the triangle window.
Yeah, you see that a lot, don't you, that?
That one I think means that a space shuttle is about to take off.
Oh, what can that be?
What's he doing? Lunatic.
I don't know. Royal family ahead. No idea.
This one means,
I'm not 30, anymore!
I think I have seen that in Anne Summers.
Three strokes is when you've not had...
Take it away.
Drive in the right direction... at all times.
Driving is one of the most successful ways to induce Grumpiness with numerous blood-pressure-raising elements and the uncanny ability to turn any normally passive person into a road-raging wreck.
This brand new Grumpy Guide programme gets our Grumpys seeing red as they cover topics including misguiding sat navs, infuriating back seat drivers, the hell that is inner city gridlock and how it's not fine to get a fine.
Starring Ronni Ancona, Katy Brand, Jon Culshaw, Shobna Gulati, Russell Kane, Shappi Khorsandi, Alistair McGowan, John Moloney, Neil Morrissey, Sarah Parish, Mark Steel, Mark Radcliffe and John Thomson
Narrated by Geoffrey Palmer.