Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Emmeline Saunders & Jonathon Manning

Timmy Mallett's surprising new career that's gained him thousands of TikTok fans

Timmy Mallett is best known for whacking TV contestants over the head with an inflatable mallet, but the TV star has now reinvented himself and has accrued tens of thousands of fans in the process. The former children's TV presenter has hung up his mallet but you may pass him on the street.

That's because Timmy has moved away from the TV spotlight and instead cycles around Britain armed with pencils and paintbrushes. His plan is usually fairly vague, he then plots a rough cycle route and sets off with his acrylics and watercolours.

His painting tours have proved popular with a host of fans online. After posting his first TikTok video in November 2019, he has now amassed a fan base of 66,000 people.

READ MORE: Ashley Banjo says 'it's not our babies' fault' as he discusses his marriage breakdown

Explaining how he decides his routes, he told The Mirror: “I’m intrigued by stories. Cycling feeds my curiosity and stories are everywhere on a bike ride. They can be in the first two minutes or they can be 200 miles in. I usually have a plan but I think detours are a good thing. It’s not a bad way of going.

“I decided I wanted to see if I could cycle around the coast of Britain, and you start off thinking, ‘oh, it’s a long way, I’d better do lots of miles today.’ It took a long time to slow down and think, it’s not about how far you go or how fast, it’s how much fun you have. Slow down, look at things, follow the stories.”

Timmy says he often stops to speak to people on his tours and is happy to speak to anyone he meets as "you'll never know what you learn". But he does admit that sometimes he gets stopped for the wrong reasons.

“I remember somebody stopping me and mistaking me for [Blackadder actor] Tony Robinson,” he laughs. “To such an extent she said, ‘Oh, you haven’t changed a bit, you’re still the same. Anyway Tony, it’s been lovely seeing you, please sign this.’ So I had to sign it from Tony Robinson.”

But thankfully, most of the time he speaks to someone it is not a case of mistaken identity. He has even started being recognised for his TikTok videos.

“I was in the Post Office," he said, "and the bloke in front of me turned around and said, ‘I’ve just been watching you on TikTok.’ He was in his fifties.

"It’s lovely that those interactions come with a smile. Think back to the lawyer we met earlier, she’s thrilled to bits she got a photo with me and she’ll share her story with her friends. But now I go, wow, I’m blessed. I’m really fortunate that that happens."

With his new hobby quickly becoming popular with fans, would Timmy ever consider returning to TV with a cycling show?

“Could be,” he said. “I don’t sit there hankering for a return to telly. Not to belittle it, but it’s because you have to do the things you’re passionate about and that you’re interested in.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.