Timmy Mallett, best known for ‘Mallett’s mallet’ on children’s TV shows, will open CRE Midlands (10am, Wed 4 Mar) – and then talk about his 2,500-mile cycle ride and pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
The ride, in memory of brother Martin, born with Down’s syndrome, forms a central part of his new book, Utterly Brilliant: My Life’s Journey (SPCK), which Professor Brian Cox describes as ‘vivid, beautifully written and often moving. If you think you know who Timmy Mallett is, you’re in for a rewarding surprise!’
‘When I set out to cycle this route, from my home in Berkshire to Spain, people automatically assumed I was doing it for a variety of charitable reasons,’ said Timmy. ‘But it was all about reaching your potential just like Martin did each and every day. So it was a personal challenge, to see if I could do it.
‘Along the way I started to experience personal reflection with little bits of my life flashing into my mind.
‘When Martin was born, they said, “He won’t make his teens.” Then it was, “He won’t make his 20s”, then not his 30s, or his 40s. I got fed up hearing that. At the end, the priest came to pray with him. Martin recognised the rhythms and breathed “Amen.” His life came to a gentle end. He had made it to 64 years and seven months old. My cycle journey was about reaching my potential like Martin always did.
‘It was a truly wonderful thing when I realised you carry your loved ones in your heart forever — and they don’t weigh a thing.’
Comedian and actor Don Maclean, former presenter of Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, will interview Timmy at CRE Midlands (11am, Wed 4 Mar), after which visitors will be able to get a signed copy of the book.
Photography © Tim Rose Photography