Top girl Kerrie lands TV driving role

Kerrie McPhail back behind the wheel at Oban Fire Station.

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Retained firefighter Kerrie Galbraith will be blazing a trail in the latest series of Top Gear after being asked to take part in an emergency services challenge.

Kerrie’s TV debut is due to be aired on Sunday March 1, the last episode of the current series, but the 45-year-old tyre fitter has already been down to the track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey where filming took place just before Christmas.

‘It was all a bit last-minute really,’ said Kerrie, who runs her own tyre supply and fitting service in Oban.

‘The programme managers were looking for three representatives each from the fire, police and ambulance services to take part in an emergency services challenge.

‘My watch manager thought I would be good for the job so put me up for it, and the next thing I knew I was travelling down to Surrey with two other boys from Scottish Fire and Rescue. It was all a bit surreal.’

Kerrie has been a firefighter in Oban since 2001 and has been an appliance driver since 2005.

Oban station manager John Sweeney commented: ‘In that time, Kerrie has driven to over 1,000 incidents on some of the most challenging roads in the country, and it’s this experience that made her the ideal candidate to represent the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service during this challenge.

‘We all look forward to seeing the footage.’

Top Gear returned to our screens on Sunday night with hosts Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris firmly in the driving seat for the show’s 28th series.

In Kerrie’s episode, each of the emergency services teams up with one of the hosts to compete against each other in a variety of extreme driving games.

Kerrie’s challenge was called Link-car during which she had to steer and accelerate a banger around a figure-of-eight course attached by a short chain to another banger containing Freddie Flintoff, who was responsible for braking.

‘It was hard to do anything for laughing at Freddie,’ said Kerrie.

‘He was shouting at me to brake and I was shouting back, I can’t, you have the brake!

‘The idea was to see how many times you could complete the figure-of-eight in 10 minutes. The first few circuits were fine but then I felt an almighty shunt and when I looked up to see what was happening we realised that the Stig car had joined us for the sole aim of throwing us off course.

‘The whole thing turned into carnage but it was hilarious and I definitely think I had the best challenge.’

We won’t reveal who won. Tune in to BBC 2 at 8pm on Sunday March 1 to find out.