Award-winning TV producer was caught on camera flipping his middle finger to road safety activist ‘CyclingMikey’ – while driving £140,000 Aston Martin, court hears
- Producer Jimmy Mulville was caught using his mobile phone in his Aston Martin
- Read more: Cycling fanatic Jeremy Vine shares new video of bus driver
Award-winning television producer Jimmy Mulville was caught on camera flipping off road safety crusader ‘CyclingMikey’, who caught him using his phone while driving his £140,000 Aston Martin.
The 68-year-old writer and comedian, who is also co-founder and managing director of Hat Trick Productions, claimed he was reading texts during a family emergency.
City of London Magistrates’ Court heard Mulville mouthed: ‘Go f*** yourself,’ to cyclist Mike Van Erp, 52, as he leaned in to record the Liverpool-born funnyman.
He was convicted on Thursday of using a handheld mobile phone on July 29, last year on Battersea Bridge Road, while driving his silver six-litre V-12 Aston Martin Rapide.
Mulville, who lives in a £12million Earl’s Court house in Kensington and Chelsea, was fined £1,000, with £625 costs and a £400 victim surcharge.
Jimmy Mulville, the 68-year-old writer and comedian, who is also co-founder and managing director of Hat Trick Productions, claimed he was reading texts during a family emergency
Van Erp told the court it was 11.25 in the morning when he caught Mulville on Battersea Bridge over the Thames in London
He also received six penalty points, adding to the three already on his licence.
He was prosecuted after Van Erp recorded him on his GoPro camera while cycling across the bridge and reported him to the police.
Mulvile, who performed for Cambridge Footlights when studying French and Classics at the university’s Jesus College, did not attend the trial due to ill health, but was represented by a lawyer.
Hat Trick Productions are responsible for hits shows Father Ted, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Drop The Dead Donkey and Room 101.
More recently Mulville he has produced Celebrity Mastermind, Bloodlands, Derry Girls, The Kumars and Episodes.
Van Erp told the court it was 11.25 in the morning when he caught Mulville.
‘I was riding my bike northbound on Battersea Bridge Road past the queueing traffic. I was going back home.
‘As I was filtering past I saw a nice car ahead of me and it caught my attention because it was turned a little bit the left, towards the kerb.
‘The other traffic moved on and the driver of this car was a little slow to react to the moving traffic. The driver started driving again, not quite hitting the kerb and accelerating hard.
The cycling crusader told the court: ‘I always run a GoPro camera while I’m cycling and he was typing with both hands on the phone and the screen was lit up’
‘It was an unusually harsh acceleration and I thought to myself it was symptomatic of a distracted driver and I wondered if he was on the phone.
‘The queue came to a halt and again the driver moved off after a delay in what is known colloquially as a ‘WhatsApp Gap’ and the driver stopped behind the queue.
‘I came up to the driver’s side window of this Aston Martin and saw the driver was busy typing on his phone.
‘I always run a GoPro camera while I’m cycling and he was typing with both hands on the phone and the screen was lit up.
‘I leaned in close to the window to make sure my GoPro got good evidential shots of what the driver was doing.
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Vine, a keen cyclist and campaigner, posted the clip on Twitter, where he often shares footage of his interactions with motorists
‘I think his emails were open and he was reading or answering emails and when he saw me he immediately closed that email.’
The magistrates watched the footage of Mulville raising his middle finger to Van Erp, who said: “At this point he gives me the bird and he is mouthing something to me, which might be: ‘Go f*** yourself.”
‘He was on a narrow bridge lane and a red route.’
Mulville was disqualified from driving in 2020 after accumulating penalty points and the same Aston Martin was involved in a Van Erp report to the police in 2019.
However, the cyclist cannot recall if the driver, who he caught using a phone while driving in Hyde Park, was Mulville.
He denied the suggestion of Mulville’s lawyer Sam Thomas that he was deliberately ‘targeting’ the Aston Martin.
‘It is clear you are commentating on your footage as you are going along,’ said the lawyer. ‘You initially stop and specifically go to the window.
‘You are setting out to try and catch people,’ added Mr Thomas. ‘There is a suggesting you were targeting this driver.’
Van Erp denied the suggestion, adding: ‘I am not spending nearly as much time on this as you think. I was not following this person, I was on my route home.’
Mr Thomas asked: ‘Did you target this driver because he was driving an expensive car? You have referred to it as a “nice car” and you recognised it as an Aston Martin, yes?’
The lawyer told the magistrates: ‘This was entirely out of character for father-of-four Mr Mulville. There were some family concerns at the time and he did look at text messages.
‘You have heard Mr Van Erp say he did manage to catch people on a daily basis. That is not an excuse, but puts it into context.
‘Mr Mulville is a man of means and he provided his identity to being the driver.’
As a performer, Mulville – who has received a BAFTA for his creative contribution to television – also starred in Channel 4’s Chelmsford 123 and 80’s ITV sitcom That’s Love.
Twenty years ago he and his ex-wife Denise O’Donoghue, 68, sold a minority stake in Hat Trick for £23m. The company continues to enjoy annual turnovers of approximately £30m.
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