Author(s): Tiff Needell
Tiff Needell has been a well-known television personality, first on Top Gear - where he worked alongside Jeremy Clarkson - and then on Channel Five's Fifth Gear. This is a autobiography of Tiff Needell.
Tiff Needell is best known as a former presenter of the BBC's Top Gear and a current co-presenter of Channel Five's Fifth Gear. He also has an occasional column in car magazine Auto Express and has narrated Discovery Channel documentaries.
The tortuous road to motor racing stardom begins with a competition prize - a Formula Ford racing car given away by Autosport magazine in April 1971. Working his way up in motor racing: lots of lean times, short of money, but eventually Tiff gets a Formula 3 drive in the Unipart team - and a company car! The Grand Prix driver: but the bad luck continues and Tiff gets to drive only in the Belgian and Monaco Grands Prix in 1980 with the Ensign F1 team. Le Mans becomes a speciality: his second visit to the famous 24-hour race ends with a 200mph crash (he escaped unscathed); he would take part in 14 Le Mans races in all, achieving a best result of third place in 1990. Top Gear star: Tiff's break came in 1987 and he would be part of the team, alongside Jeremy Clarkson, for eight years. Out of Top Gear and into Fifth Gear: when a new BBC2 controller decided to call time on Top Gear Tiff opened the door at Channel Five and the whole BBC team followed him over to create Fifth Gear.