Exclusive interview: Fearne Cotton talks Fiat Puntos, Land Rovers and vintage Alfa Romeos


Fearne Cotton

The Radio 1 host and part-time fashion designer may not be an obvious petrolhead, but as a self-confessed fan of Land Rover and daughter of a man owns a vintage Alfa Romeo, Fearne can happily talk cars until the cows come home.
> AOL Cars caught up with Fearne to chat about early car memories, awesome road trips and the occasional prang...

AOL Cars: What was the first car you ever owned?

Fearne Cotton: A red Fiat Punto! I saved up for quite some time before I could afford it and was so chuffed when I could.

AC: Did you have an affectionate name for it?

FC: Ethel. I have no idea why!

AC: How many attempts did it take you to pass your test?

FC: I fluked it the first time. Even my instructor on route to the test centre told me he doubted I would pass. On my way back to him I had the smuggest of smiles!

AC: Any horrible stories from your lessons or test?

FC: I remember having the sweatiest palms of all time and was drinking a lot of Rescue Remedy beforehand.

BBC Children in Need Backstage

AC: What was the first car you ever lusted after?

FC: I weirdly really lusted after the little Fiat Punto before buying it. I always had very realistic fantasies!

AC: What did your Dad drive?

FC: My dad is a complete car nut and remains one of the biggest petrol heads I know. He has a vintage Alfa that he races on track days every month. He also has a rather trusty van for work. When we were younger he had an old Jag and an MGB GT.

AC: Was his collection cool or embarrassing?

FC: The old MGB GT was a gift to Mum from Dad. She would occasionally drive us to school in the mornings and for some reason my younger brother would get in the passenger seat and I would be squashed to death on the tiny back seat or parcel shelf, as it was known. Not a good look when arriving at the school gates!

AC: What was the first roadtrip you ever went on?

FC: We regularly drove to the south of France as a family as my Mum hates flying. It was a horribly long eight or nine hour drive with many "are we there yet?" moments. We would stop for baguettes and crepes wherever possible to alleviate the drama.

AC: Can you talk us through your current car collection?

FC: I have a Land Rover Freelander at the moment. We had an Evoque until recently, but due to having a baby and my boyfriend's two children, we needed something a little bigger. Our Freelander is a good sturdy family car. My boyfriend also swapped his vintage BMW for a family Mercedes recently. It's shocking that we've become so sensible!

Land Rover Freelander

AC: What is the worst motoring investment you ever made?

FC: I've been rather boring and sensible so am yet to have a sports car moment. I've only ever had Minis and Puntos before my Range and Land Rovers.

AC: How about the best?

FC: The best was probably the Evoque as it was such a fun car to drive and looked so cute. It was like a mini space ship inside.

AC: What's the most audacious bit of amateur mechanics you ever undertook?

FC: I am not naturally this way inclined. I'm lucky that my dad will always oblige. He used to build Minis with his dad when he was a kid, so he is very handy indeed. I once ran out of petrol in Richmond on a one-way system and had no clue what to do. I sat on my bonnet looking sad hoping people wouldn't shout at me too much.

AC: If money was no object, what car would you buy?

FC: An Aston Martin as I know my dad would love that too. It would be my Bond girl moment!

AC: Have you ever got a date just by driving a cool car?

FC: Nope! I'm not sure, back in the day; me in my old Mini that was constantly full of drinks cartons was particularly appealing.

AC: Have you ever gone on e step further and got frisky behind the wheel?

FC: I'll leave that one a mystery!

AC: Give us a quick rundown of your top driving playlist?

FC: Ohhh I love listening to music in the car. I would say Vance Joy - Riptide, Fleetwood Mac - Gold Dust Woman, Laura Mvula – She and Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times

AC: What is your ultimate road trip? Where would you go and what in?

FC: It has to be the Amalfi Coast, I love it there so much. I would stop off at places like Sorrento and Positano and eat gorgeous food by the sea. A tiny car, maybe a Fiat 500 would be best as the roads are so windy and wrap around huge cliff edges. It would have to be a soft top too, so we could enough the sunshine.

italy, campania, amalfi, beach and town on the amalfi coast....

AC: Have you ever had an accident?

FC: Yes a couple of annoying minor things. Once on my way to the Top of the Pops Christmas show, a van pulled out of a block of flats and ploughed into the side of my red Mini. It was a big shock and I was late for work.

AC: Finally, what is the most stupid thing you have done in a car?

FC: I knocked the wing mirror off of a fancy new Mustang whilst on a road trip in America with my mate Reggie. Driving in San Francisco is near impossible due to the huge hills and he wouldn't let the incident drop for ages. He then backed the same car into a truck owned by quite a huge scary looking man. Karma!