Guy's new project proves to be no flight of fancy
Some TV presenters will take much any job they’re offered, no matter what the topic, and then do their best to look interested during filming.
But not Guy Martin. If he appears enthused about his latest documentary Guy Martin: Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber (Sunday, Channel 4, 7.30pm), we know it’s genuine.
For a start, the motorbike racer has proved his engineering credentials on numerous TV shows, including last year’s Guy Martin’s Spitfire.
But it’s also because for him, presenting is more of a hobby. He fits his TV work as well as his racing around his job as a lorry mechanic in Grimsby.
Many people in his position would have been tempted to hand in their notice the minute the BBC offered them their own series, which in his case was The Boat That Guy Built back in 2011. However, Guy had other ideas.
In past interviews, he’s admitted that as well as genuinely enjoying being a mechanic, he also doesn’t want to be put in a position where he had to fake his trademark enthusiasm (there’s a reason one of his shows was called Guy Martin’s Passion for Life) on projects he wasn’t that interested in. However, it seems he’s also conscious of the fickle nature of fame, and the dangers of being too reliant on TV producers to keep him in a manner to which he could become accustomed.
He told The Guardian: “The day the TV boys get sick of me, and that day will come – course it will, you’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise – what would I do then? If I was a TV presenter, I would have got in to the luxury trap. Earning mega-money. And the next thing you know, they’ve sacked you. The money stops. And you’ve got a massive mortgage…”
He adds “If everything stopped tomorrow I could quite happily live on my truck wage.”
Luckily, that seems like it’s a while off yet, as here he presents a programme marking the final flight of the last airworthy Vulcan bomber, the XH558, in October.
The plane played a key role in protecting the UK’s interests during the Cold War era, was also responsible for the longest raid in British military history when it successfully attacked enemy targets in the Falkland Islands.
So now, Guy is going to take a good look around one, as he helps a select group of engineers prepare if for its farewell tour, before getting the chance to fly alongside one, and even taking the controls himself – even if it’s only to ‘wheelie’ it on the runway.
Farewell tour Exploring the last functioning Vulcan bomber.