Tiff Needell Wiltshire, UK
- Famed British racing driver and television presenter
- Former co-presenter of Top Gear (1987-2001)
- Founding member and co-presenter of Fifth Gear (2002-present)
With a glittering career spanning touring cars to Formula 1, motoring legend Tiff Needell has driven the world’s most exotic cars and entertained millions as a television presenter on both Top Gear and Fifth Gear.
Tiff entered the world of professional race car driving in 1977, when he was selected to drive for the Unipart Formula Three Team. Fourth in the 1978 British Formula Three Championship, he moved to the British Formula One Championship for 1979 and finished second in his first ever Formula One race. A year later, Tiff achieved the ultimate status of Grand Prix Driver with a couple of outings for Team Ensign.
Tiff’s television career started in the mid 1980s as part of the BBC’s motor racing commentary team, where he worked alongside Murray Walker. In 1987 he joined Top Gear as the performance car specialist and presented some quite legendary road tests of cars like the McLaren F1 (in fact Tiff and the F1 still hold the UK circuit lap record for a production road car, topping 200.8mph). When ‘Top Gear Magazine’ was launched Tiff became a regular columnist – a position he would later hold in publications that included ‘Autocar’, ‘Auto Express’ and the ‘Sunday Times In Gear’ section.
In 2002 he became a founder member of the Fifth Gear team, which is now in it’s eighteenth series. Tiff has also accumulated huge experience of hosting national events including the MPH Show as well as co-starring in Top Gear Live alongside Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.