BOLTON comic Paddy McGuinness will be back in the driving seat at Top Gear returns on Sunday.

Ahead of the new series, Paddy said he was delighted with the response by viewers to the new presenting team ­— and confessed he had to see a doctor to conquer his fear of flying before taking on the job!

The Bolton News:

The presenter and his co-star Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff made their debut on BBC Two’s motoring programme last year, alongside returning host Chris Harris.

Paddy said had had no time to get nervous about the stunts lined up for him.

The producers don’t tell us about them in advance," he explained: "If they told you beforehand, ‘You’re going to drive this road and it’s really high up and windy,’ you might say, ‘Oh I don’t fancy that.’

“But you just come to it in a car, so you can’t do anything else. You have got to drive it. When you are there you are that in it, you just do it.”

Paddy said when he watches some of the shows back he realises the extent of what he has done.

He said: “I have thought, ‘Wow that is high up.’ But you are that swept up by it in the moment that you just get on with it.

“At the time, you are driven by adrenaline and you are usually tired and wet, so you just do it.”

The Bolton News:

McGuinness said he was pleased at the positive response to the first series.

“We are all very pleased,” he said, “When you are filming it, you’re having a laugh, weighing it up and saying, ‘Yeah I think that’ll be alright.’ But you never know until it’s on and some things work and some things don’t.

“I always felt comfortable personally about what we had filmed. It’s really pleasing to hear the positive reaction.”

Paddy said: “For myself personally, I wasn’t very well travelled - been to Portugal once. So when I got the gig I went to The Priory and saw a doctor to get me over my fear of flying. I’ve seen parts of the world I’d never normally see and it’s just been amazing,” he added.

The Bolton News:

Speaking at a Q&A at the world premiere in London, which was attended by Lord Tony Hall, who just hours earlier announced he was standing down as the BBC’s Director-General.

Paddy joked: “It’s been a difficult day for Sir Tony, let’s be honest, but every cloud has a silver lining.

“So Tony, it’s a free bar - get stuck in son, you’ve earned it!”

The Bolton News:

Top Gear series 28 starts on Sunday January 26 at 8pm on BBC Two.