With Clare Lawrence Penny Mallory: TV presenter, motivational speaker and event host, has achieved so many things in her life that a person would be proud of just one of these achievements… Breaking into a male-dominated sport and entertainment area is no easy undertaking, and Penny has done this with class and sophistication. You are very busy with a variety of different work activities; on the television, presenting the hugely popular the Used Car Roadshow, and you have previously presented such legendary programmes as Channel 4’s Driven, and you are also a motivational speaker and an event host… How do you fit it all in? I have always been freelance - working on all sorts of projects at the same time. I don’t know any different! I love the variety of jobs as I tend to get bored very quickly, so this way I am always doing something new, to keep me interested. The down side is that it makes holidays hard to plan, and I never know how much money I will have... or not have. As well as presenting TV shows, I also spend a lot of time delivering keynote motivational speeches at conferences these days which I love. Everything is based abound a motoring theme and it’s quite powerful stuff. The list of TV shows that you have presented on and are also currently still presenting is very impressive… Do you still enjoy being on the television as much as you did when you first started out? It’s not so much ‘being on TV’ that I like - its the lifestyle and the people I work with, I meet new people every day and that might not happen in a ‘normal’ job. When you film a series, the crew becomes your family and a great team spirit develops. I love that side of it all. Doing live TV is also great fun - you really have to be on your toes, and think ahead... it can be pretty nerve wracking stuff.
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Having such a varied working life must keep things interesting… Do you thrive on having different challenges? I love to be challenged, and challenge myself, I have learnt to be a boxer, and did a fight, I have climbed the biggest mountain in Europe, learnt to play polo, run 3 marathons in 3 days, and am training to run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents, which has never been done by a British woman. But I am getting very bored of running at the moment! One of my toughest challenges was to write and publish a book. I have never considered myself a writer, and it’s quite a thrill to see your book shoot to No 2 on Amazon!
I understand that your Father’s passion for cars and motorsport inspired you… Was this the main reason that you found a love of cars and racing yourself? My dad was always tinkering with cars when I was a kid. I guess just being around cars rubbed off on me. Mind you, I never expected I’d be rallying for a job when I grew up. I loved the sense of freedom and adventure that I got from rallying. I could go a bit crazy and it was Ok - no one was on my back nagging at me. I could try different driving styles, go flat out - crash - and learn from it all. I enjoyed pushing myself further than I thought I could go - that way you learn about yourself.
It was a little scary to be honest! I had a £250,000 car under my bum and I couldn't break it. The last ‘owner’ of it was Colin McRae so I had some really amazing footsteps to follow. I loved driving that car - it was such a thrill and an honor to have been trusted with it. The photo I have on the bonnet of that car is still very special to me and Sue, my co-driver.
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I wanted to be a social worker... then a fashion designer... I ended up as an art director in advertising... before rallying got me. I am a creative person - I paint and draw and create things all the time so I think I would have continued to go that route. I have worked with a Formula 1 team, a car manufacturer and some huge corporate organizations. It’s very rewarding to see people grow and do things they didn’t think they could.
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You were the first woman in the world to race a rally car of a particular specification, in the Ford Focus World Rally… How did it feel to have achieved this?
What do you think you would have gotten into career-wise if you had not found your feet with what started out as your love for cars?
Being an enthusiast of fast cars and driving at speed… Are you also into any of the extreme sports that are about these days? No not really - just running mile after mile after mile after mile after mile. Some horse riding sometimes, but it’s a little tamer these days. Is there anything that you are as passionate about as you are about cars? I have so many passions - and of course I have two daughters who are approaching GCSE’s so that might be a boring answer, but I am pretty passionate about supporting them through their exams successfully. I am also quite passionate about getting my new puppy house trained! What are your plans for the future, both career wise and personally? I would like to add a few more books to my collection. Perhaps I should spend more time in Spain??? Find out more about Penny at her website: http://www.pennymallory.co.uk You can buy Penny’s best selling book 'Take Control of Your Life' at Amazon.
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