Thun­der­birds are go for host

From Fal­cons to Thun­der­birds, Si­mon Reeve is quite the car en­thu­si­ast, writes MONIQUE BUT­TER­WORTH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Star’s Car -

TELE­VI­SION is a very busy world for Si­mon Reeve. He is a sports and news pre­sen­ter for Sun­rise, hosts the kids quiz show It’s Aca­demic, war­bled his way through celebrity singing con­test It Takes Two and was a gym­nas­tics com­men­ta­tor at the Bei­jing Olympics.

As the host of the new po­lice re­al­ity show The Force: Be­hind the Line, Reeve has heard plenty of crash hor­ror sto­ries.

But it is one of his own, dur­ing a road trip in Africa, that re­mains the most vivid.

Still, Reeve is a car en­thu­si­ast who dreams about own­ing a 1955 Ford Thun­der­bird con­vert­ible. What was your first car? An 1968 XT Fal­con. Dad had al­ways had Fords, go­ing back to a gor­geous old Ze­phyr when I was a baby, then a cou­ple of XPs.

The XT was my pride and joy un­til a bloke ran fair into the back of me on the Kwinana Free­way in Perth. Alas, she was never the same again. What do you drive now? A 2004 BMW 320i. Do you have a favourite drive and who would you take? Bus­sel­ton to Esper­ance, around the south­west coast of WA. My com­pany would be the fam­ily— wife Linda and two kids— and the kids would have to sign a no-whinge­ing clause. How far would you drive in an av­er­age year? About 20,000km. Do you have a favourite motoring mem­ory? Driv­ing in Botswana on the edge of the Moremi Na­tional Park and get­ting hor­ri­bly bogged in lion and hyena coun­try. Linda and I had our two-yearold daugh­ter with us and we’d run out of wa­ter. A half-hour slog of dig­ging and panic be­tween Linda and I fi­nally got our old LandCruiser clear as a blis­ter­ing Oc­to­ber sun went down. I think we’d con­vinced our­selves it might be our last sun­set. A great re­la­tion­ship mo­ment. What would you buy if money were no ob­ject? Noth­ing too ex­trav­a­gant, just a 1955 T-Bird con­vert­ible. I think it’s shape and some­how its sense of op­ti­mism and fun make it the per­fect car of any era. I know I’d look like a right wanker driv­ing one around now, but I’d bliss­fully take the barbs. What mu­sic is play­ing in your car? There are two tracks that get high ro­ta­tion: Mio Amore by The Flamin­gos and Easy to be Hard by Three Dog Night. Go fig­ure. How much is too much for a new car? The way it’s headed, I think the Flint­stones got it right. What should be done to make driv­ing safer? A heavy em­pha­sis on driver ed­u­ca­tion as an in­te­gral part of the school cur­ricu­lum, vis­its by road­ac­ci­dent vic­tims, and a com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach to this area of ed­u­ca­tion from age 15. So many episodes of The Force fea­ture booze, speed and young blokes who, like young blokes ev­ery­where, think they are 10 feet tall and bul­let­proof. Are you spon­sored by a car com­pany? No, but I’m cheap, easy and shame­less. All of­fers wel­come. The Force: Be­hind the Line, Chan­nel 7 Mon­days at 8pm.

Fal­con force: Si­mon Reeve hosts The Force: Be­hind the Line and has a taste for old Fal­cons, in­clud­ing his much-loved XT (be­low).

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