Highgate show goes on after star comedian attacked on Halloween

Tim McArthur was punched in the face five times. Photo: Rosie Hallam

Tim McArthur was punched in the face five times. Photo: Rosie Hallam - Credit: Archant

The actor, writer and Stephen Sondheim-performing man-about-town has spoken of his terror after being attacked by six men in the early hours of the morning before Halloween

The much-loved Highgate comedian was assaulted at 3am – but he still went on to direct Lauderdale House’s Halloween Spooky Walk later that day.

Tim McArthur, who lives in Highgate Village, had been to a restaurant in Soho with a friend and they were walking down Greek Street when they were assaulted and robbed by six men.

The 41-year-old was punched in the face five times and his friend, Barry Ryan, was kicked in the head five or six times.

Mr McArthur’s phone and bag were stolen, and the robbers pulled the rings from his friend’s hand.

Mr McArthur was left with a fractured cheek and heavy bruising. Passers-by called an ambulance.

The writer, who is well-known on the London gay scene, believes it was a straightforward robbery, rather than a homophobic attack. But the police told him that this was the fifth attack they had seen in a week in Soho and he fears violent attacks are increasing in London post-Brexit.

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He said: “I’ve had phones stolen, but never had violence on this scale before. Violence seems to be getting worse, there’s a change in the air in this country – hate crimes and racist crimes, homophobic crimes. Brexit [seems to be] a reason to behave differently.”

Mr McArthur went on to direct a performance at Lauderdale House for around 500 parents and children after being discharged from hospital.

The Spooky Walk, a Lauderdale House tradition, takes families on a theatrical journey in the Waterlow Park grounds.

Mr McArthur said he was pleased he could make it to the performance. “It was best thing I could have done. It was good to be with supportive people I know and in the end seeing the kids’ faces light up and be entertained was the best medicine.

“I didn’t want to let the people who attacked us steal a day of my life.”