Did you pass your driving test first-time?
No, I passed second time around. The reason was bad weather. It had been snowing heavily and I had snow on the sole of my shoe. My foot slipped off the clutch and I stalled quite early on in the test. It was obvious straight away I’d blown it.
I re-booked and passed second time. I’ve always been around vehicles. I had a petrol motorbike when I was seven and my brother had go-karts. Our dad used to put blocks under our feet so we could drive around the field, too… It was the 70s, things were different then.
What was the first ever car you owned?
After passing my test I drove my dad’s van. I was in a band at the time and we could get all our stuff in the van and I used to drive all my mates around in it.
After a couple of years it turned out I hadn’t been insured on it, though… My first car was a silver Ford Fusion that had been my mum’s — a hand-me-down. We called her Pearl.
What would have been your dream first car at the time you got it?
A Mini convertible. I was actually bombing around in one at the start of this year. My Mini had been stolen and I was able to borrow one. I preferred my Mini hatchback, though.
What was your fondest memory from your time with the car?
I moved to Manchester in Pearl. The memories it brings back are all of times with friends and the early days of my time on Shameless. Great times.
There would be cars to come and pick you up and take you in to the set at the time, but I always preferred to drive myself.
The cast and crew used to say “what are you driving that old wreck for?” but it just made me like the car even more.
And the worst memory of your time with the car?
It blew up in the end…on the motorway. That wasn’t good.
After that I bought a brand-new Vauxhall Corsa. My dad negotiated the price down for me.
That blew up too, though. I forgot to put oil in it and it gave up the ghost in central Liverpool when I was going to see a friend perform in a theatre production.
Would you class yourself as a “petrolhead” or prefer to be driven?
I love driving. I’m not into automatic gearboxes or the thought of electric cars. Without the sound and feel it’s just not the same. After my car was stolen recently I bought this really sporty little Mini in British racing green back in March. It goes like the clappers and sounds great.
I love driving it. I’ve missed getting behind the wheel during lockdown.