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The day I got 14 people in a car

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The day I got 14 people in a car

Bath Chronicle (U.K.)

10 June 2005

Michael Beckley, 41, was born in Sydney, Australia. He appeared in the TV shows Phoenix, Water Rats, and Farscape before landing the role of Rhys Sutherland in Home and Away in 2000. His final few appearances in that hit soap were recently seen on Channel Five. He is single and based in London

What do you drive?

I'm not driving at the moment and I'm loving it.

What was your first car?

An enormous Valiant station wagon. It was called the Tardis because we could never believe how many people we could fit inside it when we went out on a Saturday night. At that ludicrously stupid age, I put far too many people in it.

What was your best/worst car?

The worst was a little Honda Civic station wagon. I needed to do about five different things to the engine every time I wanted to start it. If there were four drops of rain on it, it refused to go for at least two days. But that was also my best car. It had so much character, when it did run you just fell in love with it. It ran on the smell of an oil rag. I bought it about fifth-hand, and got it dead cheap so I was just thrilled with it when it did go. When it didn't, it frustrated the hell out of me.

What is your dream car?

It would be a Jaguar sports car. They're good-looking, sexy, fit vehicles.

Do you consider yourself to be a good driver?

No. I'm shocking. I get distracted, but I'm a brilliant reverse parker. I don't know what happened. The angel of reverse parking has been shining on me since the day I got my licence.

What do you always keep in your glovebox?

Spare change for the toll because we've got a lot of them in Sydney now. They get enough money out of us in petrol tax and everything else. Don't get me started.

What drives you mad behind the wheel?

Other drivers who are probably as distracted as me, and people who don't indicate, whether they're changing lanes or at the end of a street. I just want to speed up, pull up to the side of them and say: "Your indicator light isn't working." This is one of the reasons I was glad to sell my car.

What's the best music to drive to?

Classic FM. We have the same thing in Australia, although there's a lot less talking on the one back home. I can recommend it to anyone reading this. If you're stressing out, put on a bit of Bach.

Have you ever had a crash?

I hate to admit it, but I've had about three. Not all of them my fault. Touch wood, nothing too bad. Just little dings.

Who would be your perfect passenger?

Peter Tchaikovsky directing his orchestra in the back. It would be great to have live classical music in the car.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done in a car?

When I piled 14 of us into one car. I drove us from Sydney back up to the Central Coast where I came from which was about an hour and 45 minutes drive. I probably shouldn't have done it but it was the stupidity of youth.

Who cleans your car and how often?

I took my car to a service station once and this man just looked in it and said: "Oh no". I said: "What do you mean? That's why you come here. To have your car cleaned". He just kept shaking his head.

© 2005 Bath Newspapers Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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