What does sex, the Duchess of Kent and Star Trek have in common? Ask a Redbridge cabbie

People having sex, the Duchess of Kent and the captain of the Star Ship Enterprise are all in a day’s work for black cab drivers who have been voted best in the world.

Only one in five people will ever pass the gruelling exam called the Knowledge needed to become a cabbie which includes learning more than 20,000 landmarks and 25,000 streets.

Mike Tiller, of Clayhall, said: “I think people get off on being watched, I’ve had people having sex in the back of the cab. It was someone from HSBC - people walking passed were banging on the windows.”

Mr Tiller has been driving a cab for 23 years and during that time he has had everyone from supermodels to sportsman in the back of his car.

He said: “We know what we’re doing that’s what makes us the best. You can get into any black cab and you will be taken where you want to go.”

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Councillor Alan Weinberg, who drove a black cab for 36 years, said that the reason British black cab drivers are so good is due to the difficult exams. He said he liked being a cabbie as you never knew who was going to get in your cab.

He said: “This elegant woman got in and asked to go to Kensington Palace, when I drove to the gates as the policeman looked into the back of the bad and he saluted and I thought ‘who’ve I got in the back of my cab? Well, it was the Duchess of Kent.”

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Martin Hizer, 47, of Little Heath, said that cab driving has a long history in this country dating back to the time of Oliver Cromwell and that it has its perks.

“Patrick Stewart [a captain in Star Trek] got in my cab so I called my friend who’s a Trekkie. Patrick used to say ‘engage’ and he’d pull down his tunic and point and he did it for me!”

Black cab drivers were voted best in the world in a survey conducted by www.hotels.com.

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