Saturday – Tara Fitzgerald In Our XJ

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Jeremy You might imagine an actress who has starred in films like Brassed Off, Sirens and Hear My Song would be used to climbing in to luxurious limos like CarCouture’s XJ. However, Tara Fitzgerald loves her old Volvo estate and admits to us that she hasn’t been in anything quite as swanky as the Jaguar in years.

“I walk as much as I can around London but when I go down to my house in Cornwall, we cram everything in to the Volvo.”

I collected Tara from Milton Keynes, where she is currently staring in an RSC production of The Winter’s Tale. We are supposed to be walking and talking in the countryside near Silverstone, for a feature in the Financial Times. Then it started raining and didn’t stop.

By the time we return to the Jaguar, the Waking the Dead actress has boots caked in mud, a sodden coat and is drenched. “That’s the trouble with a car as posh as this – you feel bad about making the seats muddy and spoiling the leather.”

I show her the XJ’s massaging heated seat button and ask if she likes the car. “It’s incredibly plush but when I think of a Jaguar, I have a certain image in my mind and it isn’t shaped like this car.

“Maybe Jaguar wanted to move on from the classic design but this model doesn’t stand out in the crowd. I wouldn’t have known it was a Jaguar until you told me.”

Tara is about to star in the third series of Game of Thrones on Sky. “It’s the biggest production I have ever worked on. There were about 100 people on set and it has been filmed in incredibly exotic locations all over the world. However, they shot my scenes in Northern Ireland!”

Would she buy an XJ? “It’s not really my sort of car. I love the interior and the gadgets but I’m used to something slightly more practical.”

ad735055-bbce-4079-865f-e838ca5df924Jeremy It’s the last day for our Volvo XC60 . With snow forecast for tomorrow I’m going to regret handing over the keys for all sorts of reasons. This is the model that buries the myth that all Volvos are boxy estates driven by conservative types. The flowing lines of the bodywork and beautifully crafted dashboard are light years ahead of Volvos of old – a pretty SUV estate that manages to put a smile on your face every morning. I think it looks sensational from most angles – apart from head on, which is about to be rectified with a new, re-nosed version due out this summer. Solid, robust and capable of 4X4-type forays into the semi-rough stuff, the XC60 is a thoroughly modern estate car that will tick a lot of boxes for most families. Arriving tomorrow at Car Couture is the new Jaguar XJ 3.0 Supercharged V6. Find out how we get on with the luxury saloon every day next week.