Dermot O’Leary says new car show is Gogglebox meets Total Wipeout

After five minutes of watching couples parking in Shepherd’s Bush, O’Leary says he was on board for this fun chunk of family entertainment

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Dermot O’Leary describes his new BBC car show, The Getaway Car, as “Total Wipeout in a car meets Gogglebox”.

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Teaming up with Top Gear’s ‘The Stig’, participating couples do four rounds of driving challenges. The last couple standing then race pro driver The Stig for the chance to win £10,000.

It doesn’t take itself, or the couples, too seriously O’Leary told RadioTimes.com. It’s a “nice family bit of entertainment”. In fact, O’Leary was hooked after watching five minutes of couples parking.

“I wasn’t looking for a game show at all, and it sort of isn’t really a game show. They showed me five minutes of couples parking in Shepherd’s Bush, asked some general knowledge questions, and I was like, ‘I want to do the pilot!’ We did the pilot and it was really funny. It’s a funny show. It’s very tongue-in-cheek. You’re fascinated by people’s relationships behind the wheel of a car.”

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“People who love each other – whether they’re brothers, sisters, partners – speak to each other terribly behind the wheel of a car, in the way you’d never speak to a stranger,” O’Leary laughed. “So it’s kind of about that really. It’s about identifying ‘Oh my god I’m like that person’ or ‘I can’t bear that person…’”

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So what of The Stig? Can Dermot dish on the driver’s true identity?

“You never know who he is. And you never know who he is. He turns up like that. It’s a really tight team, so I must have met him ‘de-robed’,” O’Leary confessed. “But I don’t know who he is.”

Working with The Stig doesn’t, O’Leary insisted, signal an involvement with the new-look Top Gear with Chris Evans.

“I’ll put paid to those rumours right now. I’m not joining the Top Gear team. Those are the rumours where I read it and go, ‘Oh, I don’t know anything about that.’ I call my manager, ‘Am I? Have we heard?’ [And they say] ‘We haven’t been approached and I haven’t approached them because you haven’t asked me to.’ There’s literally been nada.” 

RadioTimes.com now understands Evans will be joined by guests on an ad hoc basis rather than full-time co-hosts.

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The Getaway Car starts tonight at 6:50pm on BBC1