Chop Shop returns to Discovery Channel


Five celebrity car fanatics commission Bernie and Leepu to customise their dream car

TX Mondays from 6 October 2008 at 10.00pm on Discovery

‘Compared to these characters, Clarkson and co look like namby-pamby Fauntleroys.’ (The Guide)

‘This is reality TV stripped back to its pure form.  No fancy tricks – just a fast, entertaining struggle.’ (Radio Times)

Bangladesh’s answer to Enzo Ferrari, designer Leepu Awlia, and his cockney partner and master mechanic Bernie Fineman, re-open their garage on the Discovery Channel for a second series of hit show Chop Shop.

This time the panel beating pair are upping the anti as they undertake five special commissions for some of the best-known faces in British entertainment and sport.  Entrusting their boyhood dream machines to Bernie and Leepu’s creative genius are: pop legend turned actor, east end boy MARTIN KEMP; rugby legend LAURENCE DALLAGLIO; actor and comedian JOHNNY VEGAS; music maestro JOOLS HOLLAND and former Spurs and France football hero DAVID GINOLA.

Following on from the success of the last series, when the Chop Shop gang produced a magnificent Bentley for DJ Christian O’Connell, Bernie and Leepu have chosen to put their reputations on the line by guaranteeing they can create five more masterpiece motors.  Their challenge is to produce cars to rival any forecourt mean machine, working within tight budgets and to the bespoke requirements of each star.

Martin Kemp is first to witness the Chop Shop treatment at the garage in London’s East End. Bernie and Leepu work to transform a scrapped Saab 900 Turbo into a turbo-charged gangster racing machine.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product,” says Martin. “But if they give it to me and it’s below par and isn’t something I want to drive I’m giving it back!”

Next in the driving seat is Laurence Dallaglio who receives a bespoke muscle car out of an old Ford Capri; Jools Holland has a strict design brief as he asks them to recreate the Classic Jet 1 – a Rover gas turbine concept car from the 1950s; for Johnny Vegas Bernie and Leepu aim to create a faster version of his beloved VW Golf; and David Ginola is hoping for a super-fast, super-slick, high end sports car. A tough challenge for the Chop Shop team, but Leepu promises to deliver. 

Leepu says: “This year my promise is better supercars for super people. When I was 16 I learnt how to copy a Lamborghini and by 18 I’d done it, I built my car and I drove it. I will design the best cars and I will compete with the best people.”

Leepu is a legend in terms of car design, having developed his maverick approach over the past 25 years. His vision is second to none as he hand crafts designs using just the raw materials – and absolutely no kit parts.

The boys focus is traditional panel beating – only a few people in the UK know how to do it – and old school methods in metal work and mechanics. Bernie explains: “We take sheet metal, we strengthen it, hand beat it, hand prepare it, whatever it is we do it. The only thing we send out for is specialist leather work.”

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