TV stars put through paces at Wrexham off-road centre

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

CELEBRITIES have been honing their driving skills in Wrexham.

Extreme driving agency Motor Safari, which has its head office in Bwlychgwyn, is attracting a host of stars from far and wide keen to try their hand at off-road motoring.

Recent household names to get behind the wheel were TV personality Ben Fogle and comedian Hugh Dennis, of Mock the Week fame.

The pair are in training for a new reality show which will be screened in the autumn and will see a team of celebrities embark on a journey to Peru.

They were put through their paces in a four-wheel drive vehicle by extreme driving instructor Peter Morgan, who runs the company with his wife Heather, and senior driving instructor John Howard.

Heather said: “Ben was lovely, his baby daughter had recently been born, so he told us about that.

“He was very gung-ho and raring to go and Hugh had a really dry sense of humour and was very funny.

“They were put through a very intensive training course and they both did very well, but they were exhausted by the end of it.

“They went from learner drivers to super advanced in just one day.”

She added: “Hugh knew the area as he had been friends at university with someone from Marford. They thought our trail park was brilliant and liked the idea that Top Gear had filmed there.”

The company is training many of the celebrities who will star in the upcoming programme and staff have already worked with the likes of comedians Rhod Gilbert and Greg Davies.

Heather added: “The BBC recommended us because we have done so much work with them in the past.

“We are not allowed to disclose what the programme they are training for is, but they will travel to Peru and driving over there is a matter of life and death, so they have to know how to get themselves out of really sticky situations.”

Heather said their regular celebrity visitors provide a real boost for the area.

“When people see the celebrities have done it then they want to do it so it’s fantastic for the area because they stay in the local hotels,” she said.

The company was set up more than 25 years ago and over the years has worked with a variety of TV shows including Top Gear, Blue Peter and This Morning.

It also provides training for the North Wales Fire Service and runs a variety of extreme driving courses.

For details go to www.motor-safari.co.uk.

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