Tuesday 16 July 2019

Meet the driving instructor who helps stars pass their test

Niall Horan
Niall Horan
Edward Dwain from Mumford & Sons
Rhys Ifans
Lara Stone

Noel Gaughan, who has a string of celebrity successes under his belt said it was particularly difficult teaching Horan manouevres by the side of the road because whenever they pulled over fans would beseige the car.

The father-of-one said: "I was teaching Niall from One Direction and I just thought he was an ordinary lad.

"But wherever we pulled over there were girls taking pictures and surrounding the car. That made it difficult."

Mr Gaughan has also helped pop star Adele pass her driving test despite having no idea who she was - even when she started singing at the wheel.

Adele secured her licence and only made one minor error after she was given lessons by the motoring tutor to the stars.

Mr Gaughan admitted he had never heard of her before she came to him for an intensive course - and still didn't twig when she sang some of her hits to try and jog his memory.

The driving instructor has previously taught a host of celebs including James McAvoy and One Direction's Niall Horan - but says he never knows who they are.

Mr Gaughan said: "I didn't know who Adele was so she started singing in her lessons. The problem was I didn't know any of her songs.

"She would sing some beautiful songs and say 'you must know this one' but I don't really know many celebrities."

He added: ''Her little boy Angelo is doing absolutely brilliant. She is very much a proper mum who lives for her son.

"Driving will give her a bit of freedom and she is looking forward to be able to go off with just her and Angelo. She worked very hard with me and learned very quickly."

The grateful stars have written their own words of praise for the driving instructor on his website, www.intensive courses.co.uk.

Adele wrote: "Noel is Dumbledore of roads. Could not have done it without him and his jokes changed my life."

He had never listened to Mumford and Sons before he helped double bassist Edward Dwain get his licence.

And he had never seen the film Notting Hill before actor Rhys Ifans climbed into his car.

It was only when he got chatting to X-Men star James McAvoy, singer Mika and Bond girl Gemma Arterton he found out they were in showbusiness.

"Mika was hilarious and he eats like a horse for someone so small. He always had a sandwich.

"James McAvoy was a really sweet guy and it was great seeing him on Top Gear. Rhys Ifans is the funniest pupil I've had.

"When we got to the test centre he walked up to the examiner and said 'shall I drop my pants now' I didn't set out to get this niche, I think it's just word of mouth.

"I've already got a few more celebrities booked in. A couple more of the other One Direction boys are looking to pass their tests still so they have given me a call."

Mr Gaughan, 46, has been running driving school Intensive Courses with wife Gaynor, 39, from his home in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, for more than 20 years.

But the dedicated Radio 4 listener rarely watches TV or reads magazines, which means he struggles to recognise famous faces.

He says he is now used to security escorts and mobs of teenage girls following his adapted Mini Cooper.

Other star drivers to have been taught by Mr Gaughan include supermodel Lara Stone, Captain America actress Hayley Atwell and Stereophonics drummer Javier Weyler.

Lara Stone wrote: "I have never driven before and I only started driving 8 days ago and have just passed my test, it hasn't sunk in yet, it's a great feeling, I loved every minute of my lessons."

Mika added: "Fantastic instructor, lovely nutter, couldn't have done it without Noel. Thank you."

Pixie Geldof said: "Best driving instructor ever, absolutely fantastic, Noel taught my boyfriend and friends, what an amazing experience."

Most of pupils have a week of intensive lessons to get up to pass-standard and pay £25 an hour, on average.



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