The day I met David Gandy in a Jaguar


Hi, I’m David. What a nice chap, I thought. Very sharp suit he was sporting, too. I wished I’d worn my shirt with cufflinks. Nevermind.

I didn’t know David but soon got chatting. Turns out he’s a bit of a car guy, very keen to hear about the Frankfurt Motor Show we’re all off to the very next day. Is he going, I ask? Nope, he’s flying back the very next day. So he must be someone from Jaguar, I guess. A designer? Well, I think, he’s the best-looking car designer I’ve ever met.

We chat some more. The F-Type crops up: ah, he says, he’s just taken delivery of an F-Type. Which one, I ask? V6 S. Good man, I say – the choice one of the range. I tell him a bit about the launch in Northern Spain, about the epic (nay, world-class) routes Jaguar laid on for us to discover its new gem. This pleases him.

He’s still got a nagging doubt though, he admits: a part of him does still wish it were the V8. “I’m a speed freak: I’ve got a bit used to V8 power.” Oh, really, I ask? Yup: turns out his last car was a Jaguar XKR-S. Why, yes, that would do it. Glorious as the V6 S is, 380hp can’t quite measure up to 550hp. “Lovely car though,” he adds. “Certainly draws plenty of glances.”

I’m getting to like David, I think. He’s a car nut like us two (Autocar’s Matt Burt is sat in the front). As you’d have to be if you worked for Jaguar, I muse. Although by now, I’m thinking David’s perhaps one of Jaguar’s brand ambassadors instead. A fashion designer? That suit really is lovely.

We get onto racing. David likes motorsports too: indeed, Jaguar’s recently arranged for him to take his ARDS licence. It gets better! He’s very keen to go racing, he says; get stuck in on track and learn how it’s all done. We’re like kindred spirits, I muse – two blokes talking cars in the back of a Jaguar XJ (with both of us very impressed it’s a Supercharged model, not a V6 diesel).

We arrive at the launch event for Jaguar’s new star, the C-X17. Great to speak with you, I say to David. Likewise, he replies; we shake hands and he jumps out.

As Matt and I mill and natter, David’s off like a shot. To the red carpet. Where he’s pounced upon by photographers and spends the next 15 minutes having shots taken with other people the photographers are just as keen to photograph. Matt and I stare in amazement: blimey. Double-blimey: a snapper, who’s seen us get out the car with David, asks to take our photograph. The first time I’ve been papped by a genuine pap.

It all becomes clear a little later on. It’s only flippin’ David Gandy, I’m told! The world’s only male supermodel! Well, I’ll be. And a nice bloke who likes his cars to boot! Incredible.

I later text my other half. The instant reply is full of exclamation marks. As are the replies to the Facebook status update she quickly adds. And I’m the talk of her office the next day too. She and everyone she knows, it seems, love David Gandy.

Thing is, so too do I. Cheers, David. And don’t worry – next time, I’ll have brushed up on my fashion industry knowledge…