HE’S best known for his music but Example, real name Elliot Gleave, also has a passion for fast cars.
Speaking exclusively to Sun Motors, he explains how he went from driving his mum’s old Vauxhall Corsa to owning supercars including a Ferrari, new Jaguar F-PACE and a McLaren 650S.
Tell us about your new show, Supercars
Channel 4 came to me, I think because they’d seen some of my car photos on social media and I’ve done a bit of racing and that, and asked if I’d be interested in presenting a new car show for All 4. The best way to describe it is looking at the different sub-cultures within the supercar world, like detailing, car-spotters, modifiers, that sort of thing.
It’s basically letting those guys tell their story and following them as they go about their business. In terms of petrol heads, there are bits of driving but it’s more to do with the different people in the supercar world who form part of it. There’s an episode on a YouTuber, who makes his money through car reviews. If you’re a real petrol head you’ll know about these guys but hopefully it’ll show those who aren’t big on cars what goes on in this world.
Would the show be possible if it wasn’t for social media?
Probably not, people want shorter content now so they can watch it on their phones or iPads or whatever, so hopefully it’ll hit a nerve and we’ll make series two. This is more of a labour of love for me; it’s not that I’m getting paid a fortune for it.
I’ve got to drive some supercars while filming so it’s got its perks. I’ve become more familiar with the YouTubers since doing the show, I follow some of them on Instagram anyway but now I’m a dad I don’t really have time to spend watching YouTube in the mornings, which is probably what I would’ve been doing before.
It’s such a small world though, and the car world is very welcoming, especially compared to the film/TV/music industry where there’s a lot of backstabbing, which I haven’t found with cars yet.
What do you drive?
I’ve got an Audi SQ5 for the family car which I’ll be swapping for the Jaguar F-PACE in the next few weeks. I’ve got a Jaguar F-Type R four wheel drive, a Ferrari F355 Spider and McLaren 650S. The three sports ones are all V8, which wasn’t the plan but it just kind happened. I got the F355 as more of an investment, and it seems to be going up in value. The F-Type R is my daily run around, which probably sounds silly.
What was your first car?
A Vauxhall Corsa – it was actually my mum’s but I drove it more than her. It was also the first car I crashed, I wrapped it round a lamppost trying to park too quickly. The first car I actually bought was an Audi RS5.
I used the Corsa for about eight years and around 2010 I had my first bit of success with my second album but up until then I was about £40,000 in debt, just paying to tour and stuff, so I never had the money for a car. Then finally, in 2013 my accountant said I could afford to spend £50,000 on a car. So I went for a used RS5, which had done around 5,000 miles and then from then on it’s got a bit silly!
What are you more excited about: Top Gear or the Amazon Prime motoring show?
We don’t know what the new Top Gear format is going to be like but we can assume the Amazon Prime show is going to be more of what we’re used to but taken to new levels because of the amount of money they’re spending on it.
It’s a tough one, but I personally think there might be too many people on the new Top Gear, I’m not sure how the dynamic is going to work. Will they be fighting for attention? Before everyone knew their role and everyone had their place so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.
I’m a fan of Chris Evans though, I used to watch TFI religiously. I’m more excited for Amazon Prime because I want to see Clarkson, Hammond and May again though, is the easy answer to your question.
Do you have any points on your licence?
I had six points until recently but they’ve gone now luckily, I got them when I had the RS5, I think I got carried away going from a Corsa to an Audi. It was speeding but stupid speeding like 40mph in a 30mph or something, not very rock and roll.
Do you think you’ll ever own a driverless car?
I can’t see myself buying or riding in a driverless car, ever. I posted a picture of a driverless car on Instagram actually and it didn’t get a good response, I just think it takes the heart and soul out of cars, it’s just not for me in any way shape or form. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for them but personally, I’d never want one.
Finally, if you could go on a road trip with anyone who would it be?
One of the most fun days I ever had was the Mille Miglia chasing Brian Johnson around, it was great fun with him so I’d want him. Probably Richard Hammond as he’s a great bloke and I know him well and probably my wife because if she reads this she’ll get annoyed I didn’t say her. She had to pull out of the Mille Miglia because she was pregnant and she’s never let me forget.
Supercars is available to watch on All 4 at www.channel4.com/shorts