James May might be rather speedy on The Grand Tour, or when riding his motorcycle, but he’ll be putting on the brakes again for a second series of The Reassembler, which will air at Christmas. The first series of The Reassembler saw May take on projects including spending 10 hours putting together the 331 component parts of a petrol engined lawnmower. The show was an unexpected hit, and was watched by more than 400,000 viewers.
“Here we go then. More workshop cock-ups and cod philosophy,” said May. “To be honest, I’d probably be doing this even if no one was filming it. There’s a lot of false jeopardy in TV, but this is absolutely real; I really do stand there for hours putting things back together.”
BBC4 has commissioned a second run of the show that will include May putting together a Hornby toy train and track, a 1960’s Kenwood Chef food mixer and a 1976 Honda Z50a mini trail bike, known as a monkey bike.
“The great thing about reassembling bits of the past is that you’re reminded of how terrible it all was,” said May. “These are warnings from history – ignore them at your peril. It took me all bloody day to get that old record player back together. I celebrated by going out and buying a new tablet, with a massive memory.”
BBC4 has upped the second series to four 30-minute programmes, from the three that aired in the first run in April. The corporation said that the first series of the show reached an average audience of more than one million viewers per episode.
“BBC4 has long celebrated passion and expertise and I’m absolutely delighted that James May is coming back to the channel to get to grips with four more engineering marvels from our past,” said Cassian Harrison, channel editor at BBC4. “As we discovered last time, if you want to understand what something is, then you have to understand how it works and what makes it work … and James is the man to slowly find out.”