MUSLIM women from East Lancashire have been captured on camera as they learn to drive.

Learners and instructors from Blackburn and Burnley are the stars of a BBC series following the fortunes of the women as they strive to pass their test and gain independence.

The six-part show, called Muslim Driving School, which started last night, follows learners in East Lancs, as well as further afield in Yorkshire.

The series has exclusive access to driving schools in East Lancashire that specialise in teaching Muslim women.

Producers said the prog-ramme was a “big-hearted, warm and funny documentary series”, that shows a community group that normally keeps itself quiet striving for independence as Muslim women get behind the wheel for the first time.

Blackburn driving instructor Salma Patel, who has run her own driving school for 15 years, features on the programme.

She said: “I was approached by the local association about the programme.

“And after speaking to the producers decided to go for it.

“I was interviewed about my experience teaching Muslim women and they followed some of the lessons I gave.

“We’re also hoping to film a test one of my pupils has coming up in the next few weeks.”

Mrs Patel, of Brookhouse Close, said she had specialised in teaching Muslim women since she started her business.

“It is a real challenge,” she said.

“The language barrier can create problems and sometimes you have to start with simple things like traffic lights and what to do, but we get there eventually.

“It gives Muslim women a real sense of independence and means they can do things for themselves rather than relying on the other half. It opens up so many avenues for them.

“I have seen the episodes I am involved in and I have to say it’s really good, there is a funny side to it as well, it’s well worth a watch.”

Muslim Driving School will show on BBC Two at 10pm every Tuesday until February 16.