Could the next Top Gear come from the Black Country? Stars say new TV car show will be bostin'
Even in a heavy overcoat with a giant industrial heater on full pelt, it is freezing.
Sitting in the workshop of a disused former car showroom on the fringes of the Black Country, journalists from across the country have assembled for the media launch of a new motoring television show.
Ah, the glamour of TV.
A family of Black Country petrolheads, aided by a bicycle mechanic recruited from a camping shop, could become the new Clarkson, Hammond and May if a new television programme being filmed in Halesowen proves a hit with viewers.
Craig Blake-Jones, proprietor and editor of upmarket motoring and lifestyle magazine Paddock Life, is the mastermind behind Paddock Speedshop, which will see his sons Ethan and Harvey restore and race a selection of classic cars, with the help of their friend Lucy Busby, who Craig met while buying waterproof trousers.
And Craig, from Blackheath, who previously worked in television, isn't doing things by half. He has taken over the former Bells Garage Rover showroom in Halesowen, which will have a starring role in the programme, and is in talks with a number of broadcasters who are interested in buying the rights for the show.
"It will go out in May," says Craig, 59. "We are talking to a number of broadcasters to decide which will be the best fit for the show, but it will be on one of the mainstream television channels."