Join the real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines as they compete in the Round Britain race. .Woodward's warm, wry account of learning to fly will lift hearts everywhere. BBC2 documentary based on the book - 30 January 2012.
Antony Woodward wasn't interested in flying, he was interested in his image. So in his world of socialising and serial womanising, a microlight plane sounded like the ideal sex aid. So why – once he discovers that he has no ability as a pilot, it costs a fortune and its maddening unreliability loses him the one girl he really wants – does he get more and more hooked?
As he monitors the changes to the others in the syndicate; as he learns that there is a literal down-side to cheating in flying exams, shunning responsibility and pretending to know stuff you don't, the question keeps on surfacing. Why? As the misadventures mount – accidents, tussles with Tornadoes, arrest by the RAF – he keeps thinking he's worked it out. But it isn't until The Crash, in which he nearly kills himself and Dan (taking a short-cut in the Round Britain race) that the penny finally drops….
Flying is the antidote to modern life he didn't even know he needed. It's the supreme way to feel real.
'A genuine originalsmartly written, eccentric, funny, engaging, with just the right combination of anorak and anarchy...The flying sequences are fabulous, the historic ghosts of Bomber command are strangely moving, and the whole book stays wonderfully airborne throughout. It reminds me of the early lunatic Redmond O'Hanlon, and a bit of Roger Deakin's weird, soul-searching, swim- across-England book Waterlog. Antony deserves to have a great success.' Richard Holmes