Take That singer and classic car fan Howard Donald co-hosts Mission Ignition, a new four-part mechanical challenge series on C4

Few people may know that before joining Britain’s best-loved band Take That in 1989, singer and dancer Howard Donald worked as a panel beater and vehicle sprayer.

In Mission Ignition, a new four-part vehicle restoration challenge series on C4, classic car collector and amateur racing driver Howard and former British racing driver and three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 Dario Franchitti (both pictured above) each lead a team of passionate petrolheads as they attempt to re-assemble a dismantled classic car.

Relying on their expertise alone (there are NO instructions!), each week the two teams have just 24 hours in which to do it and the first team to put their car back together and start the engine gets to keep it!

This first episode features convertibles. Dario’s team has been given a Porsche 944. The team is made up of three friends – Tina, Lorraine and Sharley – who all know each other from the British Women’s Racing Drivers Club.

Team leader Tina even claims she has ‘petrol in her DNA’ as her grandfather was a racing driver.

Mission Ignition

Petrolheads: Howard and Dario

Howard’s team has an iconic Lotus Elan S2 to rebuild, and comprises three friends from Bedford – Aktar, Simon and Tom – who have been colleagues for more than 10 years as race
car instructors.

While the teams attempt to complete their giant car jigsaws, Dario and Howard hit the race track for a spin.

Car historian Reverend Colin Cork takes a nostalgic journey to explore the background of both cars, and the show also gives some useful tips on how to get into classic car ownership.

 ‘I’ve always loved classic cars,’ says Howard, who has raced at the likes of Le Mans and Silverstone in cars such as a Porsche 911 GT2 and an Austin A30.

‘So the opportunity to see these vehicles rebuilt is fantastic.’

A must for all car fanatics – and Take That fans, obviously!

TV Times rating: ****