09 February Thursday

It’s Keralites’ hunt with Freddie, on the world stage

Web Desk‌Updated: Tuesday Nov 29, 2022

Presenters Ashique Thahir, Deepak Narendran and Freddie Hunt

Kozhikode, Nov 28 : They have hit the trail from the European continent and are raring to stamp their footprints across the world. Their luxury cars have zipped past silhouetted mountains and the well-trimmed hedges in the picturesque countryside of Europe to raise the heat and dust of power-packed machine brilliance. After hurtling through the bylanes of England, France, and Scotland, the young crop is steering their way into the hearts of the European audience, rocking the Amazon Prime UK OTT platform for the past one and half months.

Two Keralites – Deepak Narendran and Ashique Thahir - are right in the midst of this ‘rush’, while Freddie Hunt, a professional racing driver, and son of legendary James Hunt who is the 1976 F1 World Champion, makes up the third to scorch the tracks.

Ashique, a businessman from Kozhikode who owns a fleet of sports cars including Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari, just can’t hide his excitement by being part of this elite league of ‘Car and Country Rush’ as its latest episode on the Amazon Prime UK features their riveting rush through the alleys of scintillating Scotland.

“We not only drive into the inner alleys but have a feel of charming European rural communities, cultures and cuisine from the window of our supercars. That spread is now before the viewers through the OTT platform,” says Ashique Thahir. The show is informative, adventurous and entertaining and their stunning journey has been captured by DN Exotics & Tracc Films, London, who are presenting the show on Amazon Prime UK.

“We have now changed gear to an all-brand new format from a travel show into adventure travel with Freddie Hunt throwing in his passion and speed into the ring,” says Ashique. The new format was launched at a glittering function at The Soho Hotel, London, on October 21, and it fetched a massive positive response there itself. “The latest episode has seen the UK viewership shooting up four-fold, which shows that the European crowd well accepts it as an entertaining program,” said Ashique.

Deepak Narendran, a native of Muvattupuzha who has settled in the UK now, launched the show in 2014 and Ashique teamed up with him in the later episodes. It emerged from the pangs of the pandemic after a two-year break last month.

“The shoot of the latest episode itself was challenging. We had to sleep over in tents in snowy mountains in extreme weather. We had to do wild river rafting in adverse climate conditions and do off-roading with the car,” said Ashique about the spellbinding experience.

The Car and Country team has taken over a production company in the UK, to show that they are seriously into the business. “We are sure it will unfold many more new opportunities,” Ashique said.

In its first edition, Car and Country was aired on Fox International and the sponsors of the show were Emirates, Star TV, National Geographic and Star Health. Realizing the potential of the show on the online platform, the duo moved the show to Amazon Prime UK in the later episodes. TV and radio presenter and model Danni Menzies and Lucia Coward, British actor and TV presenter, were part of the first season which was telecast in four episodes exploring the charming English countryside in four iconic supercars, McLaren MP4, Mercedes SLS AMG, Lamborghini Aventador LP640 and the Ferrari Italia.

The French leg, sponsored by French Tourism, covered the French Riviera and Alsace. It also zoomed in on an automobile museum with a classic collection of Bugatti cars from across the world at Mulhouse in France. The vintage cars that propelled this round were 1959 Chevrolet C1, 1989 Ferrari Mondial, 1956 Porsche Speedster and MGA Roadster.