League of Gentlemen taxi lands with the National Motor Museum
A local taxi for local people has gone on display in Beaulieu’s On Screen Cars showcase of TV and film favourites.
The automotive embodiment of the most famous transsexual Derbyshire taxi driver has gone on show in Beaulieu’s On Screen Cars display of TV and film favourites.
Familiar to millions of fans who enjoy the dark comedy of Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss - aka The League of Gentlemen, the almost offensively pink taxi employed by 'Barbara' to ferry local residents of fictional town Royston Vasey (so named after Roy Chubby Brown's real name) can now be viewed up close. Just watch for the shouting, as we'll have no trouble here.
Arguably one of the most distinctive taxis ever to grace the small screen, Barbara's highly unique 2005 Citroën Dispatch people-mover appeared across the land on thousands of TV screens just before Christmas last year.
The proprietor of Bab's Cabs in Royston Vasey - filmed in Hadfield, England - Citroën's Dispatch replaced the Barbara Tattsyrup (née Dixon) Mazda 626 immortalised through three previous seasons of the show that aired from 1999-2002.
A fan favourite due to her bespoke views on the world and graphic, dark humoured detailing of surgical procedure throughout her change of sex, transgender Barbara has only ever been glimpsed with views of her legs, hands and chest. Voiced by Steve Pemberton - who also played infamously nasty restart officer Pauline Campbell-Jones - and portrayed by Paul Hays-Marshall, Barbara insists on gender neutral pronouns from her customers. Ejecting those who don't conform - often to the deaths, or other humorous situations.
You may ask where the original Mazda ended up, the official explanation being that Barbara upgraded over the 20 years since the first radio broadcast went out. Rather than a humdrum saloon, Bab's Cabs now operate with a purpose-built taxi offering wheelchair access and painted the same shade of eye-soiling pink as the original vehicle.
The League of Gentlemen taxi joins a remarkable line-up of motoring stars during the On Screen showcase at Beaulieu. Within the automotive hall of fame you can get access to the flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Del Boy's Reliant Regal Supervan from the legendary BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses alongside Rowan Atkinson's lime green Mini from Mr Bean.
For a more aggressive stance, the Jaguar XKR from Pierce Brosnan 007 adventure Die Another Day is also on view, as is the Piaggio Ape getaway 'van' utilised by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
Entrance to the display is included in the general admission tickets to Beaulieu, which features a further 250 vehicles to enjoy - including Top Gear creations amid speed record vehicles and historical triumphs from the golden age of motoring.
You can purchase tickets through the official National Motor Museum website.
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