Six top TV stars are set to hit the nation's screen, roads and possibly other motorists next week, with the launch of Comic Relief does Celebrity Driving School, a one-off series on BBC ONE, in support of Red Nose Day 2003.

Ford has supplied six cars for the celebrities to learn to drive and with Comic Relief, is helping raise even more money, by giving away pop idol Gareth Gates' Ford Fiesta.

Ford of Britain chairman, Roger Putnam said: "We're 100 per cent behind Comic Relief's efforts to help both our local and global communities. Comic Relief does Celebrity Driving School promises to be compelling viewing and a fun way to support Red Nose Day 2003.

"I'm confident the all-new Ford Fiesta will help them through their test safely. The car is prepared for the unexpected, I only hope their driving instructors are too!"

The eager novices – Pop Idol’s Gareth Gates, Big Brother contestant Jade Goody, Paul O'Grady (aka Lily Savage), TV presenter Nadia Sawalha, The Fast Show’s Simon Day and EastEnders’ Natalie Cassidy - are followed through the ups and downs of negotiating three point turns, studying for their theory test and mastering mirror (without checking their hair!), signal and manoeuvre, before taking their final driving test.

The climax of Comic Relief does Celebrity Driving School promises to be a rocky road full of emotion, but who will be able to ditch their chauffeurs and get behind the wheel for good? They will find out if they have passed or failed live on the night of Red Nose Day – Friday March 14 – during the Comic Relief Night of TV, BBC ONE.

Details of how to enter the competition to win Gareth's Fiesta will be shown at the end of each episode, or can be found on Comic Relief's Red Nose Day 2003 website ( ).

Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief added: "Every pound Comic Relief gets directly from the public, including the money raised through this competition, will be a pound which goes directly towards helping Comic Relief in its goal of tackling poverty and social injustice in Africa and here in the UK.

"We wish all the celebrities the best of luck with their tests and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the big day!"

Published : 22/02/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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