Behind the wheel with Donal MacIntyre
Donal MacIntyre might have gone under cover with the Chelsea Headhunters, but it's fair to say our Star's Car questionnaire took him to a new level of intensity. Sort of.
We caught up with Donal as he embarked on a publicity drive to raise awareness of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), an eye condition which can be hereditary, and eye health in general.
With his grandmother having been diagnosed with AMD when she was in her 60s, and his mother also having battled a range of eye complaints, including a cornea transplant and a tear-duct replacement operation, Donal is urging people to preserve their sight by making eye health a priority.
AMD is the leading source of blindness in Ireland today, known to affect some 80,000 people, with 7,000 new cases registered every year . In fact, statistics suggest that by the time we reach 55, one in 10 of us will be registered blind or partially sighted . AMD can run in families, and those who have a parent or grandparent diagnosed with the condition have a higher chance of developing it at some stage .
Speaking about his own family’s experiences, Donal was shocked to find out about the lack of knowledge surrounding the condition: “I knew next to nothing about AMD,” he says. “In fact, given my limited understanding of the condition, I was totally shocked to hear just how common it is. I had no idea that the condition was hereditary either.”
Anyway, eyesight is pretty important to driving a car, (see what we did there?) so we asked Donal to take our Star's Car questionnaire.
Hi Donal. So, what was your first car?
A VW Gold, in which I blew the engine because I ignored oil light.
What made you chose your current set of wheels?
I have a Land Rover - as a TV adventurer filming around the world it has a nostalgia and practical attraction for me. They are built for fun, and as we have two kids and one on the way we need the room!
What’s currently on your stereo?
How nifty are you at changing a wheel?
I once had to call out the AA to change a wheel, I'm ashamed to say. There were extenuating circumstances but best not go into them now.
What's your perfect car?
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or Herbie. The kids would love it.
And the perfect journey...?
Travelling across the US in a Winnabeago - with the kids.
Obviously you’re a brilliant driver, but what trait in other drivers really grinds your gears?
I am a bad driver - a guilty plea. I am disinterested I would rather be watching the world go by than be in the driving seat - but the worst trait I think is back-seat drivers. They should have a licence to give advice. Which the driver can revoke, of course.
AMD Awareness Week runs until Saturday 24 September. Donal MacIntyre takes Ocuvite Complete, which is formulated to help maintain macular health. Ocuvite Complete contains high-quality omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and zinc, and is available as two-a-day soft gel capsules at Boot’s and over the counter at most pharmacies. Priced at €19.99 (RRP) for 60 soft gels – a month’s supply. For more information, visit www.bausch.co.uk.