Nick Knowles: DIY SOS host banned from driving

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Nick Knowles said he now puts his phone in the boot to avoid the “temptation” of using it

DIY SOS host Nick Knowles has been banned from driving for six months and fined nearly £1,500 for speeding and using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Knowles, 56, previously admitted the two driving offences and was sentenced at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.

He was caught driving at 85mph in a 70mph zone in a Range Rover and using his phone on 28 January.

Knowles told the court he had a hands-free kit in his car but was holding his mobile due to a “dodgy power lead”.

Presiding justice Andrew Hill told the former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestant the ban would be enforced as it would not cause him “exceptional hardship”.

Mr Hill said: “From this moment in time, you are not able to drive any motor vehicle in any public place.”

Knowles, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, asked: “I can drive home, right?” to which Mr Hill replied: “No.”

The presenter responded: “I’m joking.”

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The DIY SOS host will not be able to drive for six months

The court heard he was caught speeding on the A417 Brockworth Bypass by a mobile camera at 10:55 GMT.

As Knowles’ vehicle approached the camera, its operator could see he had “his left hand held up to his face” and “continued to do so until he was 20 metres from the enforcement van”.

Knowles, representing himself, said he had chosen to “dismiss” legal advice to attempt to “get by on a technicality”.

He added: “I was travelling faster than I should have done…I had fallen into the habit of looking at texts. I now put my phone in the boot of my car.”

After the magistrates retired to consider sentencing, Gloucestershire’s police and crime commissioner Martin Surl entered the courtroom.

He told Knowles: “I just called by to say thank you for doing the responsible thing.”

‘Wake-up call’

Knowles replied that driving while using a phone could be “highly dangerous”, and he often worked with the police.

“Given all that background, it would be pompous and irresponsible of me to try and get off,” he said.

The presenter received six points on his licence for the offence, which resulted in a driving ban as he already had six points on it.

He was fined £666 for speeding and £666 for using his phone, with a victim surcharge of £66 and prosecution costs of £85.

Speaking outside court, Knowles said: “For me, this was a wake-up call and me putting my phone in the boot of my car now stops the temptation.

“The six-month ban was appropriate because to give anything else would be giving me special privilege.”

Knowles said he hoped his case would make other people alter their behaviour.

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