The year was 2005, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith was the biggest movie in theaters and Mariah Carey topped the Billboard year-end charts with “We Belong Together”. It was a simpler time.
And while all that was going on, MTV decided that what the world really needed was a British version of Pimp my Ride. Yes, really.
Like the American original, Pimp my Ride UK took in knackered old cars from viewers and packed them full of superficial upgrades like body kits, paint schemes, bougie interiors and more TV screens than you’ll find in your local Best Buy.
But, unlike its American counterpart, the UK’s incarnation of the show featured aging European cars like a 1987 Fiat Panda, a 1991 Volkswagen Polo and even a 1959 Ford Anglia. All are cars you’re unlikely to run into at your nearest parking lot here in the U.S.
Like everyone back in the noughties, I obviously watched Pimp my Ride, and its British counterpart. Switching between the two was a bit like taking a sip from a crisp Brooklyn Lager and then downing a pint of Carling. They’re both lagers, they both use pretty much the same constituent components, but one is a little more polished and won’t leave you feeling sick.
(In case you’re wondering, Pimp my Ride UK is the pint of Carling that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.)
Where America had rapper, actor and presenter Xzibit as its host, MTV hired Tim Westwood as the UK host, an aging radio DJ that peaked in the early ‘90s.
While he strutted about the set, convinced he was some god-like grime star, Westwood gave off serious “How do you do, fellow kids?” vibes. He would refer to his “boy” a lot, with regards to whatever mechanic was diligently working away attempting to polish up a turd.
To make his hiring for the show even worse, Westwood has since been accused of sexual assault by several women as part of an investigation by the BBC and The Guardian.
Now, as if British car fans haven’t been through enough, the show is coming back… sort of.
MTV UK has decided that now is the time to revive Pimp my Ride UK in partnership with eBay Motors, according to Top Gear. The new incarnation of the series will air exclusively on YouTube, while still following a similar format to the original.
Thankfully, the host will not be some old white guy. Instead, MTV UK has brought in British rapper Lady Leshurr to front the show.
From a workshop in Surrey, in the south of England, Lady Leshurr will lead a team of mechanics, designers and engineers from Wrench Studios as they try to breathe new life into aging cars.
According to Top Gear, the first episode of the series will focus on a “be a Fast and Furious-inspired Mitsubishi GTO.”
If all that sounds like a good way to kill a few hours, then the series is set to air on MTV’s YouTube channel on August 19. I just hope it’s not as embarrassing as the original.