James May already presents one of television’s most testosterone-fuelled shows, but now he is undertaking a TV quest to turn him into more of a ‘real man’.

The long-haired Top Gear presenter, who has confessed to a love of toys and floral shirts, will enlist other lost souls for a new BBC Two series to test their manliness and brush up traditional skills.

James May‘s Man Lab is part of the channel’s autumn and winter season, launched today.

The new season also includes a programme which sees The Choir’s Gareth Malone take on the challenge of being a primary school teacher for boys, and a live stargazing event hosted by Professor Brian Cox.

James’ new entertainment show will see him embark on a course of tests designed to teach men the skills and knowledge possessed by their male ancestors.

Among the skills he will learn will be how to ‘woo a lady’ and how to defuse a bomb.

James said: “Modern Man is in crisis. He has degenerated from the redoubtable pillar he became through centuries of refinement and slipped resignedly into the popular depiction of himself as a witless under-achiever, incapable of looking after himself or those around him.

“Man Lab is designed to reverse the rot.”

In a further exploration of masculinity, choirmaster Gareth seeks to find out why boys fall behind girls at primary school level in Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary School For Boys.

Science poster boy Cox will become the new Sir Patrick Moore as the face of Stargazing, a three-night live event in which viewers are encouraged to look to the skies.