William Woollard’s Telephone Motoring Magazine was a thing. As unlikely as it sounds, back in 1991, you could call 0839 654213 to listen to the “latest news, views, gossip and inside tracks” from Mr Top Gear of the 1980s, William Woollard.
This is news to PetrolBlog. We found the small ad tucked away in the back pages of Car magazine dated April 1991, immediately following a feature on the Ford Escort Cabriolet, penned by none other than Rowan Atkinson.
We’ll run it by you again – William Woollard’s Telephone Motoring Magazine. How did we ever get to July 2014 not knowing about the existence of such a telephone service?
Did anyone ever phone the number to listen to Mr Woollard’s latest gossip?* We’d love to hear from you.
When you think about it, William Woollard was an early pioneer of the motoring podcast, long before the podcast had been invented. What a man. What a pioneer. Give Mr Woollard a knighthood today. Arise, Sir William of Woollard.
Back in 1991, the news from a weekly telephone service would have been as fresh as it could get. Without social media and the internet, we relied upon motoring magazines for the latest news, with television breaking only the most important of stories. So William Woollard knew what he was doing, especially as he had just left Top Gear for good.
There’s seemingly no end to this man’s talents. Let’s not forget that he sparked an internet craze last year, with friend-of-PetrolBlog, Adam Sloman, launching the Woollarding Facebook community. We haven’t tried Woollarding on the AX GT yet, because we’re worried it may disintegrate.
Naturally, we tried the number for William Woollard’s Telephone Motoring Magazine, but the line is dead. There’s no faint crackling on the line or “this number has not been recognised”. There’s just nothing there. But you can picture a dusty British Telecom phone, sat on a desk, surrounded by a collection of car magazines from the early 90s. The smell of four star and Brut still lingering in the air.
William Woollard, if you’re out there, bring back the Telephone Motoring Magazine for us. We’d pay good money to hear the latest news and gossip from a hero of the 1980s. OK, by good money, we mean we’d like it to be free.
You can almost imagine his introduction, with Woollard stood in his best Woollarding pose, bonnet up on the Rover Montego. In his come-to-bed voice, he’d invite us to slip into something more comfortable, like a knitted jumper, before giving us the low-down on the all-new four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer, Mitsubishi Galant.
If you were one of the fortunate few who telephoned Mr Woollard for a weekly dose of automotive news, please get in touch.
The question is, did any of the other former Top Gear presenters host a telephone magazine? Chris Goffey’s Telephone Road Tests? Sue Baker’s Telephone Automotive Emporium? Tony Mason’s Telephone Rally Rants?
PetrolBlog is off to launch its own Telephone Motoring Magazine. Now where did we put our knitted jumpers?
*Calls cost 33p/min cheap, 44p min other times.