Seven-seat version of Fiat 500L revealed with new ‘Multi Purpose Wagon’
BAFTA and Emmy-nominated writer, TV presenter and naturalist Steve Backshall was born in 1973 in Surrey and now lives in Buckinghamshire.
His books Deadly 60 and The Wildlife Adventurer's Guide are out now.
WHAT DO YOU DRIVE?
I have a Peugeot 206.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
A bright orange Mini that cost £250 and was bought off a little old lady who obviously hadn't driven it in for God knows how long. It was my pride and joy even though the sight of trying to cram five or six burly rugby players in the back of a tiny orange Mini was always quite comical.
WHAT WAS YOUR BEST/WORST CAR?
Until very recently I'd never spent more than £500 on a car. My best car is the one I've got at the moment.
I had another Peugeot 205 which I bought years and years ago. It just never went right. I'd run it for a couple of months and then a bit would fall off it. All of a sudden the gearbox would stop working. It seemed like it was cursed. It was almost like something in a Stephen King novel.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAR?
Jeremy Clarkson would despise me, but my dream car would be to go out with unlimited money and find something that was as eco friendly as absolutely possible. That's kind of why I've gone for the car I've got at the moment in that it's small, very economical and it's not gas guzzling and will destroy the planet, so I'd something like a Prius - if I wasn't convinced that it would send me off down the motorway at 100 mph without the ability to break [laughs].
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE A GOOD DRIVER?
I am a good driver because I'm not like most guys my age. I don't drive fast, I'm quite careful, and the reason for that is I take a lot of risks in life where I feel I'm in control, and on the roads I feel like you're so at the mercy of everybody else round you that to drive fast, the sensation that you're in control, you're kidding yourself. You're not. You're completely at the mercy of everyone else around you and I just don't want to die on the road. It would be such a disappointment. I spent my whole life catching venomous snakes and climbing mountains and then get killed in a pile up on the M25.
WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR GLOVEBOX?
I have an extensive medical kit.
WHAT DRIVES YOU MAD BEHIND THE WHEEL?
What drives me mad behind the wheel is that peoples' characters completely change the second they get into a car. If they were walking down the pavement and they had someone ahead of them who was walking a bit slow, nobody would yell and scream and F and blind at them to get out of the way, or if somebody in front of them didn't know the way and was dithering a bit about going left or right would scream abuse at them, but they feel free to do it in a car and I just don't understand why.
I think people should have a little more understanding of everyone else who's around them and not be so eager to yell and scream and vent their fury at everyone else around them.
WHAT'S THE BEST MUSIC TO DRIVE TO?
It's going to make me sound such a geek, but I mostly listen to science podcasts and bird sounds, because I'm studying my bird calls [laughs].
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CRASH?
I had a rear ender about 12 years ago, but I was okay.
WHO WOULD BE YOUR PERFECT PASSENGER?
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE IN A CAR?
When I was a bit younger I had a Mini Metro where the seats folded down at the back and I used to keep a mattress in the back of the car and wherever I went, even if I was going up to London for a night out with the boys or whatever, I'd just sleep in the back of the Mini Metro.
WHO CLEANS YOUR CAR, AND HOW OFTEN?
The local car wash cleans my car and every six weeks I guess.
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