Timmy Mallett says his cycling and painting journey is 'about living in the moment'

Virgin Radio

29 Jul 2022, 13:18

Credit: Getty

Legendary kids’ TV presenter Timmy Mallett joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show in the midst of cycling around Britain and painting a picture on every day of his journey.

Thus far, Timmy has completed 110 days of cycling over four months, having left Paddington in London on March 17th. Explaining his route, he told Stephen Mulhern, who is in this week for Chris: “I went from Paddington, down the Thames to Dartford, and then I took a right and went to Rochester and round the edge of Kent, and all the way along the south coast until I got to Land’s End. And then turned right, and up the West Coast, and when I got to the bridge, turned left and all the way around Wales, until I got back to England, and then up all around Morecambe Bay, Cumbria, until I got to the Solway Firth, and then there's the massive country of Scotland. And all up the West Coast through the Highlands, until I got to John O’Groats.”

And now he’s on his way home. “I’m working my way back down the East Coast now and I’m in Norfolk, heading south back to Paddington,” he said. 

The former Wacaday presenter said that he has been getting a nice reception from locals, wherever he goes. “The thing is, every day, people are stopping me and going ‘Timmy! Wacaday!’. And it’s just lovely. All I get is a big smile from people. I’m so lucky. I’m so fortunate.” 

Timmy took the opportunity to host a game of the iconic game Mallett’s Mallet while on the show. Watch it below: 

And it’s not just the cycling that is keeping Timmy busy on his travels. “I’m carrying with me my Timmy pencil case, and in here are my paints. So, I’ve got a little set of watercolours and various sketch books.”

Speaking about doing a painting a day while on his travels, he told Stephen that he is taking inspiration from landscape painters William Turner and John Constable, who were influential exponents of romanticism. “The painting side of it has come from Turner and Constable; great British artists who, 200 years ago, couldn’t go to Europe because there was dictator rampaging everywhere. Ho-hum, from Napoleon to Putin,” he said. 

“And we go, ‘Okay, are their views still there? Can you still see what Turner painted?’ And the fact is, you can. You can stand in exactly the same position within six feet of where he stood and sketched, and paint those views, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Explaining that he isn’t pre-booking any accommodation on his trip, Timmy said: “This is something I’ve had in the back of my mind. I like the idea of cycle touring. I like the idea of where it leads to. It’s about living in the moment. This is inspired by my brother, Martin, who had language and learning difficulties with Down Syndrome, and lived every day of his 64 years in the moment. Every day, for Martin - the best day ever. He would say, ‘You and me… am happy.’ 

He added: “And I’d think, what a lovely sentiment that is, about being in the moment, living in the moment.”

You can keep up to date with Timmy’s challenge on Twitter and Instagram, and purchase his paintings at: mallettspallette.co.uk.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.