TV Highlights

Speed with Guy Martin

Channel 4 - 8pm

Who's in it?

We saw grown men weeing inside a bicycle last night, and that was only one of the many incidental amusements in the latest series from speed freak Guy Martin.

In a nutshell

Professional athletes may be as close to superhuman as you can get without being bitten by something radioactive, but they don't tend to ooze charisma. They're too busy being physically perfect, and drawing grim satisfaction from their own inner furnace of pain and power, to say funny things on camera for us sofa-based mortals. So Guy Martin is quite a refreshing change from the norm, it has to be said.

With his resplendent side burns and affable smile, he's basically Wolverine crossed with 80s-era Marti Pellow. And the motorbike racer also manages to be a proper petrolhead without being a Clarkson-like oaf about it. Last night he was back, but his emphasis was on endurance rather than speed: that is to say, he and his mate Jason were pedalling on a tandem bicycle on a 500 mile odyssey. Of course, they had to built the thing first, as well as get fit enough for this ridiculously epic feat. There was banter. There was fear. But most of all, there were two men on a bike, pedalling. And it was great.

What's the verdict?

Following his training regime, brainstorming sessions, and the frankly bonkers action that ensued, this was every bit as thrilling and ridiculous as a show called "Speed" should be. And to think there are more whiplash-inducing misadventures to come…

Star rating: 4/5

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