That it is a specialist place for people with knowledge, passion and skill is a given. But rather than the factual inaccuracies and obvious false premise set up when the presenters state they are going to restore a car within a few scant weeks, it is the assumption that what is presented is somehow ‘good enough’ for the audience that galls me the most. Can you believe that within the programme schedulers listings it is referred to as a documentary? If it was living up to that billing then it would have to show and explain well-researched facts. If it was documenting anything worth knowing, there would not be the disapproval from those of us within the old-car industry. And if it was really a documentary, it would be focused on delivering the truth to its audience. Which is exactly what Classic Cars for Sale’s sister title Classic Car Weekly has done this week.
When you read the news in the ’paper, you’ll see how real journalists are able to unpack the news and bring all the evidence about the programme to Channel 5, leaving no doubt about the actions presented on telly. Add this to authentic, relevant advice from agencies such as VOSA, HPI and the DVLA, and all the gut feelings you had about the show’s credentials will be confirmed.
There’s only one piece of light at the end of the tunnel: the show that portrayed the restoration of one MGB gathered 1.2Million viewers. If even a fraction of these people end up as classic car owners, then that’ll be a good thing. Until then, I appeal to Channel 5: ‘Enough already!’