Top Gear presenter James May is on a mission to reconnect himself with long-forgotten man skills in his new three-part series Man’s Lab…

Men are losing the skills that once defined them…
Making this series, I’ve discovered that I’m quite good at mixing concrete. I’ve also learned how to wallpaper, make cabinets, build a pub, defuse a bomb and serenade the ladies.

It was great fun learning how to take part in a duel…
We used pistols that fire paintballs filled with fake blood. I was quite good at wearing the poncey shirt and flouncing about.

Michael Gambon is my ultimate modern man…
He’s an actor, a cultivated sort of bloke, but he also likes tools and mending stuff. He’s the perfect material for my Man Lab.

My biggest regret is not working harder at school…
I was a bit of a lazy, daydreaming twit. Now I’ve discovered that I’m not actually stupid, I’m just a late developer.

I can be a bit anal…
If I’m away from home, I worry about the dust build-up. I also have a genuine phobia about wires. If my wires are untidy, or my headphones get tangled up in my pocket, it makes me shudder and go a bit clammy.

Joanna Lumley should be Top Gear’s new Stig…
She was a very early contestant on Star in a Reasonably Priced Car and she was fantastic. I love her.

James May’s Man Lab can be seen on Sunday, October 31 at 9pm on BBC2.