Bangers: Mad for Cars looks at the hatchback comeback kids

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Tuesday: Bangers: Mad for Cars (Channel 4, 10.15pm)

Back in March, filming was halted on the latest series of long-running, hugely popular BBC car show Top Gear.

It’s taken just over six months for any potential successors to its crown as the UK’s best motoring series to emerge, but this could well be a contender.

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Over the course of four hour-long episodes, rapper Tinie and F1 analyst and stunt driver Naomi Schiff take a deep dive into different categories of cars: sports, 4x4s and family vehicles.

Rapper Tinie and F1 analyst and stunt driver Naomi SchiffRapper Tinie and F1 analyst and stunt driver Naomi Schiff
Rapper Tinie and F1 analyst and stunt driver Naomi Schiff

But they kick things off in fine style with a look at the hatchback comeback kids. Motors like the Ford Sierra Cosworth, Peugeot 205 GTI, and the Citroen Saxo were all part of the landscape many moons ago, and are now enjoying a renaissance. Who would have thought a few decades ago, the school run motor would become a hipster’s dream, fetching tens of thousands of pounds at auction.

Tinie and Naomi have christened them ‘bangers’, and will put them head-to-head to decide which is the best in class. With the help of car lovers all over the UK, they will delve into the performance, history, culture and iconography of each car, before the final challenge to decide which comes out on top.

Now a motorsport broadcaster who has raced karts, prototypes, GTs and Formulas, Schiff knows her stuff. Tinie, meanwhile, has been obsessed with cars since he bought his first at 17, a Vauxhall Corsa which he ‘modded’ to within an inch of its life. He’s also an avid F1 fan and has followed the tour around the globe.

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Naomi gets first pick of the vehicles, and each week, Tinie has to select one to go against her. He’ll be meeting some of the most passionate, audacious car owners in the UK, who will be convincing him to choose their model to champion. To see the cars in action, he’ll be flying down quarry slopes in a 4×4, attempting to squeeze a six-wheel Defender through the streets of Chelsea, and battling to save the reputation of the Renault Espace.

In every episode, Tinie will also meet a celebrity to hear about their life in cars, from their first motor to the model they wish they’d had.

Taking part in this first series are Ian Wright, Guz Khan, Patrice Evra and Tom Kerridge, who will be surprised with some motors they had forgotten and a few old photos they wish had been consigned to history.

Speaking about the series, Tinie says: “Cars are so embedded in pop culture, they’re more than just a mode of transportation, they say a bit about who we are.

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“I’m excited to explore the origins of some of the most iconic cars and learn how the industry became so interlinked with the British psyche and, of course, to drive some serious bangers.”

Naomi is equally enthusiastic. She adds: “Having raced from the age of 11, I’ve almost always had my eye on cars, so I can’t wait to dive deeper into what made these cars so iconic.

“It will be fascinating to take a look at these modern classics. I am also competitive to the core, a fact Tinie knows to expect.”

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