Narrated by Jeremy Irons Autogeddon was a documentary detailing how the car is inextricably linked to almost every aspect of our lives. One of the video clips shown was a “Drag Racing” Reliant Robin powered by a 2 litre Ford Sierra engine.
Bang goes the theory (BBC)
In series 4 episode 7 (April 2011), a Reliant Robin LX (Reg H52 RET) is used for one of the experiments and acts as a stylus to play a tune on a specially modified track.
Bargain Hunt (BBC)
Series 40 episode 24 (March 2015) was filmed in Brackley and as such featured Silverstone race track at the beginning of the show. Presenter, Tom Wonnacott is shown preparing to get inside a Mercedes racing car until he is denied access and instead shown a Reliant Robin (Reg No GHK 110N) of which he then drives off in.
Blue Peter (BBC)
In an episode from 2000 a Reliant Robin 65, Bond Bug and the Reliant Regal Supervan used in “Only Fools and Horses” appeared on the show after Reliant announced that it was to make no more 3-wheelers.
Call The Midwife (BBC)
In the third series of this BBC drama (shown in 2015) about midwives set in the 1950s a red Reliant Regal Mk V makes a very brief appearance at 39:44 minutes in episode 2 and then appears again in episode 4 at 28:56 minutes driving across the background.
Possibly the same vehicle appeared again (Reg No WFF 966 ) in the fourth series in episode 4 at 32 minutes (see insert on photo)
This series shown on UKTV G2 was about various “car duels”. The first programme featured Sir Steve Redgrave (5 times Olympic gold winner) and Iwan Thomas (Olympic silver medalist) racing around a track in a Reliant Rialto against a Citroen 2CV.
In one episode the programme looks at people who drive and collect Reliant vehicles.
A Reliant Robin LX (reg: F377 FNU) was used in the ITV soap “Coronation Street” on Sunday 27th July 2005. The vehicle was driven by the characters “Kirk” and “Fizz”, they borrowed a Reliant Robin to load it up transport all their possessions.
Cyberzone by the BBC from the makers of Knightmare featured a Bond Bug. Set in a run down cyberpunk future, the Bug had been stripped out and formed part of the set in which contestants would sit inside it and use it as a cockpit for the video wall in front of the screen. The nature of the show meant that the Bug could be transformed into a boat, a Buggy or a helicopter for travel within the Virtual Reality world.
Deals on Wheels (BBC)
In one of the 2012 episodes the Deals on Wheels team looked at the pros and cons of buying a Bond Bug (Reg No PTM 110J) and detailed things to look out for. The program also featured a BMW Isetta.
Dispatches. (Channel 4)
In this Channel 4 documentary series sub-titled "Low Pay Britain" the programme investigated the reality of employment in post-recession Britain. A 1974 Reliant Robin van (Reg GKU 317N) appears throughout the programme that was first aired on 19th Jan 2015.
Drivers from Hell 2002
In the 2002 series of Drivers from Hell showing police camera footage a Reliant Robin was featured when it was used as a get away car following a burglary. Police chased the Reliant for over an hour down the A30 towards Salisbury (UK) in which time the vehicle lost 6 Police cars and 2 helicoptors. The Police could not use a “stinger” as it was a 3-wheeled vehicle but eventually the driver became blocked in and jumped out of the car to make his way on foot. He was caught shortly after.
In this BBC soap, during 2014, one of the characters in the series, “Aunt Babe” (?? whose father actually worked at Reliant) drives a Reliant Rialto (Reg No E916 LRU) (The image is from the program on Friday 3rd Oct 2014)
The children’s program Fan Goch on Ceri Geru Welsh television features a decorator / artist who drives around in a 1973 Reliant Regal Supervan III (Reg: TRE 604L).
Better still this van belongs to John Jenkinson who helped me with my “How to restore Reliant Regal” book and the vehicle was featured in the book when it was first found and covered in algae. Quite a transformation to see it on TV so shiny and gleaming.
In this 1970’s British Sitcom the main characters of the program; George and Mildred, owned a 1965 Reliant Regal 3/25. (Reg No: JNK 38C)
A blue Reliant Rob (Mk2) is spotted in the 2019 Amazon Prime series “Good Omens”
Hollyoaks (Channel 4)
A Bond Bug (Reg No: ABN 583L) was featured in many of the earlier episodes of Hollyoaks as a vehicle belonging to one of the characters in the series. In a later series a Funtech 50 was also used.
My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in the Bond Bug picture and James Wood for the Funtec picture.
Inside Out (BBC-East / BBC-Midlands)
In this programme (BBC-East) that contains three local stories, one of the stories was about Plastic Pigs (3-wheeled cars). The episode featured three 3-wheelers; the AC Invacar, the Reliant Robin and the Triking. It also featured this web site with me talking about 3-wheelers. To see more about the show click here
In 2012, Inside Out (BBC-Midlands) were in Tamworth filming a story about obesity and being the home of the Reliant, on queue, a 2001 Reliant Robin LX owned by Terry O’Keeffe is spotted driving in the background.
Last of the summer wine (BBC)
In a 1989 episode of Last of the Summer Wine entiltled “Oh shut up and eat your choc ice” a Reliant Robin (reg FWU 168T) features heavily through out the episode and at one point has almost the whole cast in it with three of the male characters in the front and three females in the back.
Lenny Henry Show
In one episode of this show, Lenny Henry does a spoof on Michael Jackson’s Thriller - “I’m getting thinner”. At the start of the video Lenny is seen driving a yellow Reliant Robin Mk 1.
In one of the episodes of "Magnum", Magnum (Tom Selleck) and his boss, Mr. Higgins, are making a journey to England. In England Mr. Higgins rents the cheapest possible vehicle. A Reliant Rialto (or Robin) Estate.
In many early episodes of Mr Bean a Reliant Regal 3/25 Super (Reg No: GRA 26K) appears and always ends up suffering on its side after being nudged by Mr Bean’s Mini. Various vehicles are used throughout the series though they always appear to be a Reliant Regal 3/25. I had an email from “Sidecar Jon” who wrote: in your 3 wheelers on telly page you mention the Mr Bean episode where the Reliant is forced to reverse and turns over. My mate Dan arranged that stunt!. He said they tried to get the thing to turn over by driving but found it surprisingly difficult. And they eventually resorted to a ram fitted under the car to shoot it over! The poor car ended up cut in four bits with an angle grinder and dumped in a skip!
One Life: The Oldest Drivers in Britain (BBC)
In one 2006 episode the program look at Britain’s oldest drivers. A number of drivers were featured with the oldest being 100 year old Bill Collett who still drives around in his Reliant Robin. Funnier still, despite being the oldest driver on the program and the only one to drive a 3-wheeler, he was probably the safest driver and the only one where you wouldn’t need to think twice about getting in a car with him.
This photo is from the BBC web site.
Only Fools and Horses (BBC)
One of the most famous 3-Wheelers on British TV is the 1966 Reliant Regal Supervan III used during all the early series of the program. In very early episodes the registration of the vehicle was APL 911H though this soon changed to DHV 938D which appears on every van shown since. Around 11 Reliant vehicles were used throughout the different episodes. Features of the original vehicle include a leaver on the dashboard to inject oil into the manifold to make the exhaust smoke.
This photo is from the BBC web site.
Panic Mechanics (BBC)
During the Panic Mechanics series two teams had to each turn a standard Reliant Rialto into a drag car - the winning team being whatever car went the fastest. The winning turbo charged Reliant completed a quarter mile drag strip in similar time to Ford Cosworth Sierra with a time of 16.397 seconds, 85.71mph. This compares to the standard vehicle that would run at 27 seconds at approximately 50mph. More details of this vehicle, the “Saline Warrior” can be seen in the Projects Gallery.
Photo from the Panic Mechanics web site.
Red Dwarf (BBC)
In the episode “Better than Life” the crew land on a planet that makes wishes come true and as Rimmer (Chris Barrie) thinks of his dream car a Reliant Robin Estate appears before turning into a a Series 1 E-Type Jaguar ... and then a Morris Minor. It is quite amusing that the only other photo I have of Chris Barrie with a Reliant is when he had a go in my Reliant.(Click here).
A 1967 BBC Documentary looked into the Export business of Reliant and showed a number of vehicles including the Regal and the Ant. It also showed paintings of future concept 3-wheelers that were later to be evolved into the Bond Bug.
Saturday Night Takeaway (Central TV)
In an October 2004 episode, Ant & Dec dressed up as Irish nuns to play a prank on the boy band “Busted”. They took the roles of Sister Mary and Sister Bernadette and drove a Reliant Rialto. The vehicle was found for them after they e-mailed Elvis Payne and were put onto a Reliant dealer in Tooting.
Scrapyard Challenge (Channel 4)
In the 2000 semi-finals of the Scrapyard Challange, two teams were required to build a steam powered car that carried four people and race it three laps around a circuit at Beaulieu. One of the teams, the Nerds, chopped up and converted a Reliant Regal for their car. This car won the race.
Smith & Jones (BBC)
In one of the episodes of this series one of the comedy sketches involves two men parking their Porsche. One boast of his new alarm as he activates it to protect the car and comments, “No one will steal that”. The other then goes one better by activating his anti-thef alarm which turns his Porsche into a Reliant Robin. He then quips, “No one will steal that either”.
Some Mothers Do Av Em (BBC)
In the 1978 episode “King of the Road” Frank Spencer (Michael Crawford) is racing around the town and countryside as his motorbike loses control. He picks on a Range Rover and then passes a black L reg (1972) Reliant Regal parked at the side of the road.
The Chinese Detective (BBC)
In an episode of The Chinese Detective the entire episode revolved around 3-wheelers. One memorable scene was when a Bond Bug (Reg no XAL 501M) and a Messerschmitt chase each other though a Parking Garage.
The Golden Shot
In the old TV game show "The Golden Shot" a Bond Bug was once awarded as the five star prize. Seen in the picture is host Bob Monkhouse with the winner Stanley Walker. Bob Monkhouse was also a Bug owner using his to drive to many professional and charity engagements all over the North of England.
The Great Egg Race
The Great Egg race was a series that ran in the 1980’s and was an early version of “Scrapyard Challenge”. In a 1985 episode presented by Professor Heinz Wolf, three teams had to convert their Reliant Robin into a waterborne craft and race it down a canal. Two teams turned the Robin upside down to make a vessel whilst the third kept the vehicle the right way up.
The Racing Game
The Royal (Yorkshire TV)
In episode 87 (The Enemy Within) of the medical drama “The Royal” two of the main characters (Jack and Aluun) drive a 1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI van. The episode aired in Denmark in Sept 2009 and was also shown in Canada in March 2010 though was not seen in the UK until late 2010.
n 1975 a series of films featuring a Reliant Robin in the central role was shown in most ITN regions in the UK. The 'Skribble mobile' as the car was known, was a character created by famed woman cartoonist, 'Skribble'. The series was filmed in colour and directed by Ray Millichope.
The classic police drama series from the 1970s / 1980s featured a number of vehicles including this Reliant Regal Mk VI van and Reliant Regal 3/30.
Top Gear: The Cars the Star (BBC)
In an episode of Top Gear (The Cars the Star ) presented by Quentin Wilson all Reliant products from the Regent, Regals Mk2,3 - 3/25, Robin, Bond Bug, Kitten, and Scimitar etc were featured.
Some of the photos used in this episode were from Elvis Payne.
Top Gear (BBC)
An episode of Top Gear featured Reliant Robin Banger Racing.
In March 2007, perhaps one of the most ambitious things was to create a space shuttle using a Reliant Robin and launch it into space. With 8 tonnes of thrust behind it to take the Reliant to 3,000ft, this was the largest non-commercial rocket launch attempt in European history and the craft launch looked quite stunning. The plan was for the boosters to detach and the Reliant Robin shuttle fly safely back down to Earth. All went well but at the last moment, the Robin failed to release from the main booster and span out of control, hurtling back down to Earth and crashing into a hillside with a spectacular explosion.
Trouble at the Top
An episode was aired that showed how Reliant Motors manage to recover in 1996 after Jonathan Heynes brought the company. The episode follows his take over from April 1996 until Christmas the same year and shows a number of Reliant Robins being made.
The Reliant Motor Club
“The Club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Britain’s finest specialist car manufacturer”