Tiff Needell

  • Former British racing driver, presenter of Top Gear and 5th Gear

  • Has covered Formula Two, Formula 3000, Rallycross & the Formula Ford Festival

  • As a speaker he draws on a first-class racing and broadcast career of 30+ years

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Tiff Needell | NMP Live
About

When the dream of a full-time Grand Prix seat failed to materialise, Tiff Needell began a move to the World Sportscar Championship in search of a paid drive – while still seeking to further his single-seater career in Europe.

Chasing drives meant hanging around race tracks and, when Tiff was spotted doing nothing at a Mallory Park meeting that was being televised live by ATV Midlands he was invited into the commentary box to be the expert analyst.

It was the beginning of a whole new career… Tiff’s next appearance behind the microphone would be the beginning of a twenty one year association with the BBC as he joined Murray Walker for the live Grandstand coverage of Silverstone’s Formula Two meeting in 1981.

At this time the BBC had only been covering the full Grand Prix season for a few years and James Hunt had become established as Murray’s sidekick. However, as the BBC’s coverage of motorsport expanded so did Tiff’s involvement.

For most of the eighties, until live coverage was wound down, Tiff was Murray’s regular partner for everything but the Grands Prix. Together they covered Formula Two, Formula 3000, Rallycross, the Formula Ford Festival and many other assorted meetings.

Tiff had also taken up an offer to write Track Tests for Autosport Magazine. Not being the greatest wordsmith Tiff adopted a style of writing ‘as he felt it’, bringing his readers onboard with him to share his experience. It was a style that would stand him in good stead when Top Gear presenter Chris Goffey broke his leg just before he was due to test the new Formula First racing car for the programme in the spring of 1987.

The producers had already heard Tiff’s voice and read his track tests so they invited him in to do the driving for Goffey – and, when they discovered he could drive right on the limit and describe what was going on at the same time he was signed on for good!

By the early nineties he had been joined by Jeremy Clarkson and Quentin Willson and the ratings were taking off as over five million viewers would regularly tune in for their weekly dose of car fun.

The Top Gear brand was beginning to expand and when Top Gear Magazine was launched Tiff became a regular columnist. From 1995 to 98 Tiff headed the Top Gear Motorsport spin-off programme, presenting and competing in a wide variety of events, and also appeared in Top Gear Waterworld while, from 1997 to 2001, he co-presented BBC’s coverage of The World Rally Championship.

Sadly all good things have to come to an end and, with Top Gear taken off the air with an uncertain future, 2002 saw Tiff switching over to Channel Five and their brand new motoring programme Fifth Gear where he would stay until 2019.

During this period Tiff went on to present the much acclaimed James Bond Special as well as a five programme series on The World’s Greatest engineering feats and a series on Superships.

Speech Topics

Ever since Top Gear beamed Tiff's face into over five million homes in the mid-nineties he has been a popular choice for appearing at corporate conferences and dinners. His engaging personality allows him to mix and mingle with guests from all walks of life.

Whether it's speaking at an exclusive black-tie gathering at The Ritz or hosting hundreds of corporate delegates at the British Grand Prix, Tiff communicates with every audience.

As an after dinner speaker, he draws on a racing career of over thirty years and a television career of more than twenty to entertain with stories of his own experiences behind the wheel, in front of the camera and alongside the likes of Murray Walker, Nigel Mansell and, of course, Jeremy Clarkson.

His time spent in front of the camera has enabled Tiff Needell to become a natural conference host and facilitator, able to create a relaxed atmosphere and easily engage in debates with company delegates.

From a welcome greeting in the morning to handing out the prizes at the end of the day Tiff enjoys helping corporate events be fun from start to finish – whether it be on a track day or at a team building exercise.

And when it comes to giving out serious prizes Tiff has plenty of experience of getting through those long awards presentations with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of smiles for the cameras.

His appeal to such a broad section of the public also makes Tiff an excellent choice as a brand ambassador – whether it be at a product launch or as a long term association.

Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Tiff Needell. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

How to book Tiff Needell for your event

To book Tiff Needell, please submit an online enquiry to booking.agent@nmp.co.uk or contact one of our booking agents on +44 (0)20 3822 0003.

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Former F1 McLaren race mechanic and pitstop crew

Quentin Willson | NMP Live
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Former Top Gear presenter and Award-winning motoring journalist

Perry McCarthy | NMP Live
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The ‘original Stig' from BBC’s Top Gear

Vicki Butler-Henderson | NMP Live
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Fifth Gear and former Top Gear motoring presenter

Ben Collins | NMP Live
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Formerly Top Gear's The Stig, LeMans racing driver and Hollywood stunt driver

David Croft | NMP Live
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you made the whole process of finding and engaging our speaker very easy.
Julie Smith, Head of HR - Hastoe Group
MORE TESTIMONIALS
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