Aylesbury bus stars in Channel 4’s Coach Trip

Roger Mott, owner of Motts Travel, with the TV coach
Roger Mott, owner of Motts Travel, with the TV coach

A coach owned by a long-standing Aylesbury firm is starring in a Channel 4 programme which began its ninth series on Monday.

Motts Travel has been supplying the Volvo Plaxton Panther, along with current driver Paul Donald, since series four of Coach Trip.

The 63-year-old firm also provided two coaches for the first three series after 12 Yard Productions created the show in 2005, the same year Motts moved to its current Stocklake depot.

Managing director Roger Mott said a key figure from the production company remembered the coaches from his youth.

He said: “Matt [Walton] used to get Motts coaches to the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe so he got in touch. Now everyone in the industry knows they are ours but I tend to try and keep it secret.”

Coach Trip is a reality game show, led by tour guide Brendan Sheerin, in which contestants visit well known destinations and vote off the least popular passengers.

Mr Mott, who joined the company in 1973 before taking over from his father John in 1982, said show exposure has been positive for business.

But he is happy to play a subtle role and often watches the tea-time show with slight apprehension.

He said: “They do go to places that our coaches go to so that’s a good advert for us but I think it can be positive and negative.

“The only thing is when the coach has an accident but there hasn’t been one yet!

“We’re often in the credits at the end but everyone turns off or goes and gets a cup of tea!”

The coach, which has been off the road since filming in the autumn, has carried Michael Barrymore and Tony Blackburn during celebrity versions of the programme.

Mr Mott said: “Our engineers do a wonderful job converting the interior to prepare the vehicle for the show.

“It’s like turning a van into a camper van. Filming on a vehicle is complex stuff.”