McGann passed test for Withnail

News Shopper: Paul McGann learned to drive for cult film Withnail and I Paul McGann learned to drive for cult film Withnail and I

Paul McGann has revealed he passed his driving test especially so he could film drink-driving scenes in Withnail and I.

The former Doctor Who star - who presents Sky Atlantic HD's new car show The Petrol Age - starred with Richard E Grant and Richard Griffiths in the 1987 cult film, which sees friends Withnail and I driving a battered Jaguar Mark II down the motorway while intoxicated.

Paul revealed: "I didn't actually qualify to drive until I was well into my twenties, and on my first film, I had to drive. This was Withnail And I. I passed my driving test in order to do that picture."

He went on: "In that film we drove an old Jag. I couldn't really drive it to be honest. I was really novicey, and Richard Grant who was having to sit next to me was quite nerve wracked from time to time.

"It was a powerful old car. The classic one of them was a 3.8, and for a novice driver, a 3.8 mark II Jag is a flying machine. Even that battered old one that we were using on the picture could fly around."

The 52-year-old actor also revealed he bought his first car with his paycheck from the film.

Paul admitted he was a little daunted by his first presenting job on The Petrol Age, but ended up loving it.

He said: "My mates were a little bit envious. It was less of a job; it felt like a bit of a reward. I got to drive all these old cars! Old cars, new cars, modern race cars, and I'm no driver really. I'm just an ordinary road driver."

:: Paul McGann hosts The Petrol Age, which can be seen on Sky Atlantic HD.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree