Competition in the taxi trade is at a record high with minicabs, including Uber, outnumbering Black Cabs 4 to 1. This programme takes us behind the scenes of one of the hardest exams in the world, the one all Black Cab drivers must take: The Knowledge of London.

Candidates must memorise the capital’s ever changing 100,000 points of interest, 25,000 streets and traffic restrictions. They are tested in nail-biting one-on-one oral exams known as ‘appearances’. The volume and detail of information is often compared to doing a degree in law or medicine. It takes an average of four years of grit and determination to pass. The dropout rate is 70%.

We follow a surprising range of characters, each at various stages of the process, including a single mum, a Kosovan immigrant and a bus driver. These are ordinary people doing something extraordinary to secure a better life for themselves and their families.

By instinctively tapping into ancient memory techniques, cabbies are bucking the trend when it comes to our increasing dependence on technology, and proving just how powerful our brains can be when we push them to their limits.

You’ll never look at a Black Cab driver the same way again.

A Honey Production for Channel 4

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