Children’s TV legend Timmy Mallett has spoken of his devastation following the death of his beloved brother on the eve of a charity cycling challenge.
The Mallett’s Mallet presenter-turned-artist was set to embark on a 2,000km cycling adventure from Maidenhead to Spain on Monday along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.
He was inspired to embark on the six-week trip to Santiago by his brother Martin who was born with Down’s Syndrome and was recently suffering from dementia.
Timmy wanted to raise awareness for mental health and how people can realise their potential and received the support of the likes of Prime Minister Theresa May and breakfast TV queen Lorraine Kelly.
Timmy and Martin were regular visitors to Courier Country over the years and Timmy has used Tayside as inspiration for his art work.
The entertainer would visit Martin in his Aberdeen care home and then cycle down the coast through the Mearns, Angus and Dundee to Perth — stopping only for macaroni pies and Arbroath Smokies — before catching the train home.
He said one of the most cherished pictures of the two of them together was taken on Dundee’s Law overlooking the River Tay — which Timmy described as “the finest river in Britain”.
Timmy said: “He leaves a huge, Martin shaped, hole in our lives.
“We’ll miss his phrases, such as: ‘You me’ and ‘I’m happy…’
“Never was there a finer example of living in the moment.
“Delighted to meet people, always ready for an outing – to church, a bike ride, football, theatre, trip to the shops, visiting friends, helping in the kitchen, the garden, dancing, watching telly, singing round the piano, knitting, doing a jigsaw or playing games, especially charades and dominoes.
“He fulfilled his potential as a baker, a brother, a friend.
“Martin blessed us all with his sweet outlook.
“They used to say his life expectancy would be lucky to reach his teens, his twenties, his thirties.
“Well 64 is still too short these days, but it was a life richly lived and as the doctor at his birth in August 1953 said to our tearful, fearful mother: “He’ll bring his own welcome”.”
Timmy said Martin’s life has shown “how we too might reach our own potential every day”.