Young Driver of the Year



Mike Smith (1993)

Justin Bell (1994)


Mick Andrews (1993)
Barrie Gill (1994)

Tony Mason (1994)


White Rabbit Productions and BBC Pebble Mill for BBC1, 5 July 1993 to 9 August 1994 (12 episodes in 2 series, 1994 as International Young Driver of the Year)


Young people's competition on four wheels from the same people who brought us Kick Start, Paddles Up and those Beverly Craven concerts you'd get on BBC1 at about 11.30pm. It involved many driving challenges, including reversing into a parking space as quickly as possible and reversing a caravan. And even a few that didn't involve reversing at all.

It encountered some criticism for apparently encouraging excessive speed and misuse of the vehicles, but the programme-makers and some of the contestants argued that it was a test in the use of many different types of vehicle and that the speed aspect was a necessary part of it - how well the competitors could handle the vehicles at speed. Of particular note was a letter that a driving instructor wrote to 'Radio Times' that actually went so far as to describe the competitors as 'inconsiderate drivers'. One competitor was most incensed by this and wrote a vehement response, pointing out the necessity for speed within the contest. Either way, the show generally made for entertaining viewing, in much the same way as its stablemates Kick Start and Paddles Up had done.


The former motor-racing driver Derek Bell appeared from time to time in the second series - appropriately so, as he was the father of the series host, Justin Bell.


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