Saturday 25 January 2020

McGann passed test for Withnail

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.

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top