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Sir Ian McKellen's agent drove with CyclingMikey on Range Rover bonnet during 'Gandalf Corner' stand-off, court hears

Paul Lyon-Maris, whose acting talent agency has also represented Colin Firth and Daniel Craig, is accused of dangerous driving after he "lost his temper" and drove at road safety campaigner preventing illegal right turn...

An agent who has represented Sir Ian McKellen and Colin Firth is this week in court accused of dangerous driving and common assault over an incident which saw road safety campaigner CyclingMikey carried on the bonnet of a Range Rover.

 Paul Lyon-Maris is accused of driving into CyclingMikey, real name Mike van Erp, during a stand-off at the infamous junction in Regent's Park, dubbed 'Gandalf Corner' due to Mikey's McKellen-like 'you shall not pass' interceptions of drivers using the wrong side of the road to cut the corner.

The BBC reports Southwark Crown Court heard Mr Lyon-Maris "lost his temper" during the September 2021 incident, with the court shown footage filmed on Mr Van Erp's helmet camera and selfie stick.

> "I have honour, integrity": Phone driver launches bizarre rant at CyclingMikey – before mounting footpath

During the footage the cyclist can reportedly be heard asking: "Why are you driving into me?"

According to prosecutor James Dean, Mr Lyon-Maris, 60, is then heard starting "to remonstrate in a very agitated manner", saying he has "an appointment at 8.30am" before telling Mr Van Erp to "get out of the way".

The prosecutor continued to describe the footage, explaining that Mr Van Erp is seen falling onto the bonnet twice as the driver moves the vehicle towards him.

"The car continued, still on the wrong side of the road, towards the junction and turned right on the outer circle where it stopped around 20 yards (18m) to the left with Mr Van Erp on the bonnet," the prosecutor said.

Mr Lyon-Maris admits driving around the right-hand side of the keep left sign but claims Mr Van Erp "threw himself on my bonnet".

"The defendant simply lost his temper and did an act no reasonable driver would've done," Mr Dean told the court.

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"He claims he was looking for a parking space when in fact he was in a rush to get to a physiotherapy appointment and felt entitled, in these circumstances, to break the law, then escalate that offence in the way that he did."

The court heard Mikey had intercepted two previous vehicles earlier in the day, actions he accepted were "risky", but comparable to "taking the keys off a drink-driver".

"I want to stop the immediate harm," Mr Van Erp told the court. "I'm told I don't look very afraid, but I can assure you there was a lot of fear on the inside."

The trial continues and is the latest high-profile episode in CyclingMikey tackling dangerous driving on London's streets, action which has seen film director Guy Ritchie and retired boxer Chris Eubank caught committing road traffic offences.

Defending, Michael Epstein suggested Mr Van Erp gains more followers on social media by confronting drivers rather than simply filming rule-breaking, something CyclingMikey dismissed, stressing his "concern is far more with justice than with social media".

"I did not move forward towards the Range Rover. I remember going down in the manner of a crash test dummy. I remember thinking 'dear god, I hope he doesn't speed off down Outer Circle afterwards with me still in the bonnet'."

> CyclingMikey takes down fleeing suspect with bike (includes video)

Mr Lyon-Maris says he drove with Mr Van Erp on his Range Rover's bonnet "very slowly to move forward and out of the way of traffic".

"I didn't know who he was, what he was trying to do," Mr Lyon-Maris told the court. "Being met with this rather intimidating figure, I came up with something I thought might calm the situation and I said I'm on my way to a doctor's appointment.

"I said it specifically because I thought it was a calming thing to say to someone you don't know who has stepped out in front of you, waving their arms around and holding a stick.

"He then, with his stick, banged it down on the windscreen. At which point I said 'what the hell? What's going on. What are you doing?'

"Before I knew it, he was on my bonnet. He fell on it, jumped on it, he was suddenly on it. His body moved forward, hit my car, and his stick hit your windscreen. I'm not used to having people jump on my bonnet in a public highway.

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"I had to make a decision about what to do. It's right to say it was a time when everyone's nerves were heightened, Covid was still an issue. There's a stranger on the bonnet with a stick in his hand, without any clarity of what he was doing.

"I did decide very slowly to move forward and out of the way of any traffic."

Mr Van Erp told the court his interventions at the 'Gandalf Corner' junction have made it "considerably safer" and the "Metropolitan Police Service in the Royal Parks have said my actions have reduced the dangers."

Cycling Mikey ends up on car bonnet (credit - Robert Davis)

Back in March, in a separate incident at the same Regent's Park junction, Mr Van Erp was again carried off on a motorist's bonnet, a manoeuvre quickly halted by the appearance of British Transport Police who took the driver's details to be passed on to the Metropolitan Police.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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