To celebrate the launch of three new Paul Swift Driving Experiences, we caught up with the man himself to discuss his journey in the Stunt Driving World so far, including Guinness World Records, driving for Top Gear and filming THAT advert in the Audi R8 Spyder.
Hi Paul, Thanks for talking to us today. So what exactly is Stunt Driving, and what sort of things do you normally do for a show?
Stunt driving is taking driving to extremes. We are often asked to perform stunts in a car which could be perceived too dangerous or risky for an actor or member of the public to perform.
Most of our work includes performing manoeuvres such as J-turn’s, handbrake parking, donuts and balancing cars on two wheels.
How has the past year been for you in the Stunt Driving World? – Have you been up to much?
We have had an amazing year performing live motor shows all over the world, driving in places such as Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia as well as featuring in several TV Commercials, including; the Audi R8 Spyder, Hyundai World Cup Car Football, Top Gear’s DVD, Mercedes and Ford.
Wow, sounds great! What made you start and how old were you?
I started my driving career back in 1987 when I was seven years old, performing stunts on the family ride-on-lawnmower. I did my first ever show at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as part of my Father’s display team in a miniature Montego.
Where in the UK would you say are the best places for Stunt Driving
Well, in the past year we have developed our own Stunt Driving Experiences which run in London, Birmingham and Northern Locations. We give people the opportunity to have a go at some of the team’s most exciting stunts in our performance cars – so I’d naturally say there!
Other than performing stunts, do you practice any other types of driving?
Yes, this year I have been lucky enough to compete in the National Asphalt Rally Championship in a classic MK2 Escort, which has been great fun.
What will the future hold for you?
Well hopefully we can build on the success of the last few years. We are expanding our team and we’re hoping to set a few new Guinness World Records in the new year.
What has been your best memory in the sport?
Winning the British Autotest Championship for the first time has to be the best moment. It took me 5 years to get there and it gave me the confidence to go on and take up stunt driving as a career.
Have you ever been injured?
Thankfully no, I’ve never injured myself or anybody else. Although we’ve had some very big, high speed moments this year whilst rallying which were a bit hairy!
What is your best / favourite trick?
Probably the two-wheel-driving. It’s very difficult to convince a manufacturer such as Ford to give you a brand new car to drive on two wheels! It’s probably the stunt I’m best known for, and most certainly the riskiest.
Have there been any big developments in Stunt Driving during your time, and do you see any coming in the future?
It has definitely become more mainstream as we now perform at most of the major motor shows throughout the World. The size and complexity of sequences has really increased, for instance last year I had to choreograph a driving sequence with 22 precision drivers in it, and I’m sure we will get to develop this even further still, given the opportunity.
How would you recommend somebody get into Stunt Driving?
If someone is serious about getting into Stunt Driving I recommend they come and have a go at one of our Experience Days. It gives people the opportunity to test their skills in our cars and learn the tricks of the trade from some of the best drivers in the UK.
Do you have any useful tips or advice for people looking to get into it?
Don’t practice on the public highway, always wear sensible shoes, prepare your car before attempting anything serious… and check out Extreme Element Stunt Pages or www.paulswiftstunts.com for more information on were you can have a go yourself.
On the new experiences (including) Paul Swift Stunt Driving Experience we are launching this week, what can people expect to be doing?
We give you the opportunity to experience some of our most exciting stunts in our fleet of performance cars. We show you how to handbrake park, so you’ll never need to avoid that tight parking space again and learn how to perform the perfect J-Turn just like you’ve seen in the movies!,
We have a specially constructed Stunt Track where guests can set a lap time which is added to our online leaderboard.
We finish the day off with a nail-biting passenger ride on two wheels and on four wheels.
Fantastic Paul, all sounds great. Thanks again for speaking with us today – and good luck with upcoming events!
New Experiences Recently Launched with Paul Swift:
Paul Swift – Stunt Track Experience
Fancy yourself as a stunt driver? This fantastic experience will let you get behind the wheel with a professional driver to experience stunt driving at its best.
Paul Swift – Stunt Driving Experience
Learn to drive like a professional stunt driver from Top Gear stunt man, Paul Swift. Master handbrake and J-turns in high performance cars with this great stunt school experience.
Paul Swift – Ultimate Stunt Driving
Experience the ultimate stunt driving experience from Guinness world record holder, Paul Swift. You will be shown how to perform a variety of stunt driving skills and manoeuvres.