Motorsport legend Tiff Needell today praised a fearless pint-sized blonde friend who leapt to his aid after violent thugs attacked him in an early morning mugging.
The Fifth Gear presenter was looking for a cab after the star-studded Autosport Awards show on Sunday night when he was confronted by three young men.
The yobs shook 60-year-old Tiff’s hand before they grabbed at his wrist and tried to rip off his expensive Jaeger-LeCoultre Swiss watch.
A violent melee broke out with the hoodlums jumping on the former Top Gear ace, but his friend Lindsay Orridge came to his rescue, punching the men and kicking out with her sharp stilettos.
The terrified muggers cowered in fear as feisty five-footer Lindsay, 27, launched at them before they fled empty-handed.
Tiff praised Lindsay’s bravery following the ordeal, which took place on Portman Street in London in the early hours of Monday morning.
He said: “It was the first time I have ever been mugged. Lindsay came over and started kicking and attacking the muggers and they ran off.
“She was heroic and I think she should be awarded a gallantry medal at next year’s awards.”
But courageous Lindsay, who is the events and marketing manager for Ford Motorsport, has played down her role in the scuffle.
She said: “I didn’t think twice about trying to get them off him.
“I started to shout at them and when they didn’t respond I kicked one in the back of his leg pretty hard with the heel of my stiletto. He yelped a little so I hit him too.
“They thought they had his watch and started to run off but Tiff managed to grab it back.
“I never even considered whether they would fight back or if they had weapons, it was just my instinct to try and help.
“I sometimes forget I’m only five foot tall.”