A driving instructor, with a star-studded client list, has won the Young Driver Influencer of the Year Award for his hit YouTube channel.
Francis Noakes, 34, from Havil Street, in Camberwell, received the award as part of the 2021 First Car awards.
The self-described full-time dad, who has taught reality stars and musicians how to drive, also earned a commendation from the First Car team.
Mr Noakes said: “I was thrilled to win this award in recognition of all the hard work I’ve put into what I do.
“I don’t do it for the awards or accolades, but it will certainly help me to reach a bigger audience.
“I teach people how to drive but with limited time in the day I wanted to help even more people, so I started making YouTube videos that can reach and help every learner driver in the country.
Mr Noakes praised the ‘great community’ on his YouTube channel (@thedrivingschooltv) and Instagram (@francistheinstructor) who he said have been supportive throughout his journey.
“The award is as much for them as it is for me,” he said.
“I’ve been a driving instructor for five years and it’s my background in teaching, and especially personal training, which is all about coaching and motivation, as well as a love of driving that makes the job perfect for me.
“Before I was a driving instructor I worked in an office which really wasn’t for me. Being in front of a screen all day bored my pants off. I needed to be outside and also have work flexibility as a full-time dad.”
In early 2019, Francis won a competition to become the face of the ‘Get Licensed’ YouTube channel with over 25k subscribers – owned by Yianni from Yiannimize, the famous car customisation shop, as featured on TV channel, Dave.
Highlights of Mr Naokes’s career has included working with influencers, driving a Lamborghini at the track parade of the London Motor Show, and being interviewed by Tiff Needel – the previous presenter of the show Top Gear.
“I’ve taught a lot of people how to drive; Love Island contestants, actors, presenters and musicians, but the most rewarding students are always the nervous ones who find driving really difficult,” he said.
“Taking them from being scared of driving at any faster than a quick jog to cruising down a motorway at 70mph is such a rewarding feeling.
“I even tried to teach my mum how to drive, but it’s true what they say, you should never teach family.”
Francis’ YouTube channel ‘The Driving School TV’ is now celebrating its 1st birthday and the videos on it cover how to drive and pass at all of the test centres in South London.
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