INTERVIEW: Road Magazine Meets Dom Joly with Shell V-Power Nitro+

Following on from the Shell 'Driving Your Excitement' video posted below – featuring the class act Trigger Happy comedian, the man once considered a 'threat' at Wimbledom and proper road trip guru, Dom Joly & Shell ambassador Jake Humphrey – little old Road Magazine got the chance to have a brief chat with the jolly Mr Joly after the green lane film was shot. Very nice it was too!
Here's what we asked and what he had to say (in italics), which is - as you'd expect - brilliant! Turns out, as well as being a petrol head, Dom's quite the adventurer... dude!

• Hi Dom, we're big fans of your work and thanks for your time. So what got you into cars?

Herbie the Love bug, the need for freedom and learning to drive sitting on my dad’s knee in the Syrian Desert when I was nine.

• What’s your earliest car memory?

Driving from Beirut to London when I was about seven. A family threw the body of a dead grandmother in front of our car in Turkey and claimed we’d run her over.  

• Tell us about your driving test...

I failed three times. I hit a bus in High Barnet on my second test and ran away – they were very stressful.

• How do people drive in Beirut compared to UK?

The Lebanese are fearless, excellent drivers. One mistake could end in a gunfight so you learn fast.

• What’s the best car you’ve ever owned, and why?

Probably my BMW 330Ci 2001 - I bought it brand new with Trigger Happy proceeds and I loved it. It wasn’t flashy but could take anybody. It got written off when some bloody student rammed into the
back of me in Oxford on 2005 or I’d still have it.

• What are your favourite cars at the moment on sale?

I like the new Jaguar and I’ve a soft spot for a Bentley.

• Classic man or modern car nut?

I like a car that doesn’t break down and doesn’t pigeon-hole me.  

• Name your motoring heroes. Why them?

Henry Ford - by all accounts, an awful man but for the sheer chutzpah of trying to start his now country “Fordland” in South America.

• We hear you like to travel, but what’s the longest/best & most memorable road trip you’ve ever done? In what? Where? With who?

I just drove to Istanbul and back with my wife and two kids. That was awesome, we got shot at by a Policeman in Serbia, arrived in Venice by car ferry… what a trip.  

• Who’s your dream road trip partner? Why? Where would you like to go most with them?

Anybody that could make me laugh and was up for adventure. I’d quite like PJ O’Rourke - he once drove across America in a Ferrari on cocaine. 

• What qualities make a good road tripper?

Adventure, flexibility, sense of humour.

• What makes a good road trip for you?

To go anywhere that Easy Jet doesn’t fly is normally a guarantee of good times.

• What was Jake Humphrey like to be with? What did you get up to in your Defender?

He was great, although a bit of a nervous passenger - we went off-roading and then up to the highest point in the Cotswolds. 

• What are you doing with Shell right now?

I’m working with Shell V-Power Nitro+ Diesel to encourage people to drive for fun. 

• Have you ever done any competitive racing/rallying etc.? Please tell us what?

I won the go-kart racing at my stag do.

• Have you ever driven the Nurburgring?

Yes, I did it in a long wheel based Diesel XJ8 and had a cracking time.

• If you had your own motoring TV show, what would be on it?

A lot of fun - destruction of speed cameras, harassing of traffic wardens, much off-roading in exotic foreign climes and a couple of tortuous rallies to boot.

Thanks so much to the team at Shell UK and the brilliant Dom Joly for their generosity and time. We really hope you get that motoring TV show Dom... it's right up our street! And happy road-tripping! Looking forward to hearing about the next mad one.

Oh, and you can see some more pics of Dom's ace Cotswold caper Driving Your Excitement with Shell on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. And view the amusing Driving Your Excitement video in the blog post below. And no, he's not dressed as a Swiss tourist, armed with a phrasebook asking "where can I please empty my bottom!"And there's not a costume dog fight in sight... perhaps next time.


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