Building Cars Live (BBC Two)


Distinguished Member
I wonder if there is a potential new Top Gear presenter here as BBC Two wants to showcase how cars are built live on TV in a two-part series, due this autumn.

Presenters James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead broadcasting live from one of Britain’s biggest and busiest car factories.

The 2x90’ series will go behind the scenes to reveal the science, engineering and people that keep us on the road, with access all areas to BMW’s MINI plant in Oxford, where a car is built every 67 seconds.

Building Cars Live will also step outside the factory, visiting car manufacturers across the UK to fully explore the evolution of global mass car production, bust the myth that British manufacturing is dead, and venture into the incredible land of the robots.

Indulging in his passion for science and having built a full-size house out of Lego (Toy Stories) and disarmed a WWII bomb (James May’s Man Lab), James May says: “I can’t wait to build a car. Live.”

Kate Humble (Volcano Live, Springwatch, Airport Live) and BBC Two newcomer Ant Anstead will join James reporting from the factory floor alongside pre-recorded scenes filmed as far afield as Norway, where Kate will explore the popularity of the electric car. Kate says: "To be broadcasting live from the production line of one of the world's most recognisable cars will be hugely exciting, and give us a brilliant insight into what goes into creating the vehicles we all take so much for granted."

Ant has been building and designing bespoke cars since childhood, and can boast world records for many of his restorations, including an Aston Martin DBS that sold at auction for £150,000. He says: "We’re celebrating what this country does best, with front row seats to the state-of-the-art Great British car production line.”

Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, says: “Building Cars Live will take BBC Two viewers right under the bonnet of the car manufacturing industry. Broadcasting live from the car factory is a really exciting way to reveal the science, engineering and expertise behind the cars on our roads, and I’m delighted it will be presented by the hugely talented team of James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead.”

Alongside films revealing Britain’s high tech, automotive industry, James, Kate and Ant will track in real time the transformation from raw materials to finished vehicle over two live episodes.

Building Cars Live is commissioned by Clare Paterson, BBC Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, and executive produced by Lisa Ausden with Series Producer Sarah Gibbs. It is co-produced with The Open University.

The 2 x 90’ series will air on BBC Two this autumn.

Car Facts:

  • Every 20 seconds, a brand new car rolls off the production line somewhere in Britain.
  • In 2014, Britain built more cars than France.
  • Last year, one single plant, Nissan Sunderland, built more cars than the whole of the Italian car industry put together.
  • In the UK, we don’t just build cars, we also build engines. One in three Fords sold globally in 2014 had their engine built in Bridgend or Dagenham.
  • Almost 80 per cent of vehicles built in the UK are exported.
  • MINI Plant Oxford builds a car every 67 seconds, which is less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
  • All cars at MINI are made to order and with billions of combinations available, it’s unlikely any two cars are ever made the same.
  • MINI Plant Oxford is the oldest car manufacturing site in Europe, with production dating back over 100 years.
  • Seven out of 10 Formula 1 teams are based in Britain: Red Bull - Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire; McLaren - Woking, Surrey; Mercedes - Brackley, Northamptonshire; Lotus - Enstone, Oxfordshire; Williams - Grove, Oxfordshire; Force India - Silverstone, Northamptonshire; Manor (Marussia) – Dinnington
  • Bentley can trace every leaf of veneer used in their cars to the tree that it came from.
  • It takes 60 highly skilled craftspeople over 400 hours to craft a Rolls-Royce at the marque's home in Goodwood, West Sussex.
  • Rolls-Royce use only grade-A bull hides for their leather interiors because cows can have stretch marks. The bulls are also kept at high altitude so they don’t get mosquito bites.

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