Sir David Jason goes on an all-American adventure in his new travel series, Planes, Trains & Automobiles on Gold
The look of delight on David Jason’s face as he takes to the skies in a vintage DC3 aircraft is a joy to behold.
The 79-year-old actor may have made his name starring in hit comedy Only Fools and Horses, but he started his career as a mechanic, and is a self-confessed train buff and a qualified helicopter pilot.
This five-part series sees David in his element as he travels the West Coast of America by road, rail and air, discovering the stories behind some of the world’s most iconic vehicles.
Tonight’s adventure starts in Seattle, where David is excited to meet Brien Wygle, co-pilot of the first ever Boeing 747 flight.
TV Times rating: ****
Here David, 79, tells us more…
You’ve always loved engineering, haven’t you?
Yes, I’ve been interested in mechanics, how things work and why, since my early days.
It has stood me in good stead when something goes wrong in the house.
It’s because of my upbringing. We were very poor, so you had to learn how to do
I got my first motorbike, I would be constantly taking it apart to see
if I figure out how
Is it true that you once worked as a car mechanic?
Yes, but after eight months, I became disillusioned.
In the Winter, you had to crawl under a car dripping with snow. There was no heating and the draught whistled through the garage.
You’re also a qualified pilot…
I did it [in 2002] because I like a challenge. It took 18 months.
I still fly helicopters twice a week. I love the sense of freedom it gives you.
What were your mechanical highlights in this series?
They practically had to drag me away from the trams in San Francisco. I was fascinated by how they worked.
I loved flying in the Douglas DC-3 because of its incredible history – we took off in something that is 80 years old!
I’m so lucky. How many people have the opportunity to fly a DC-3 or drive a 1952 Packard?
Making this series was a dream come true!