Chef Nick Nairn ‘lucky to be alive’ after street assault

Nick Nairn tweeted an image of his injuries following the assault. Picture: Twitter/@NickNairn
Nick Nairn tweeted an image of his injuries following the assault. Picture: Twitter/@NickNairn
Share this article

Celebrity chef Nick Nairn has revealed he feels lucky to be alive after being attacked on a busy city centre street as he highlighted the dangers a single punch can have.

The Ready Steady Cook star was knocked out cold after being punched by Scott Smith outside a sandwich shop as he walked back to his hotel in Aberdeen from his cookery school.

Last month, oil worker Smith, 35, was fined £900 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after admitting the attack in the city’s Union Street on 22 December.

Nairn has now told how he became aware of the ‘One punch can kill’ campaign following the assault, which aims to raise awareness of the devastating consequences one blow can have.

READ MORE: Scottish TV chef Nick Nairn tells of being attacked in Aberdeen

The 59-year-old has said he now feels fortunate to have survived the attack and revealed it had given him a new perspective on life.

He now plans to reduce his workload and spend time travelling around Europe in a motor home which he recently purchased.

In an interview with Scottish Field magazine, Nairn said: “I was recently assaulted in the street. It was really unpleasant and it’s very, very dangerous to be punched.

“There’s a campaign that began recently called ‘One punch can kill’.

“Quite often what happens is one punch will knock someone out, they fall over and hit their head, and it’s curtains.

“When I got over the whole thing I realised I was very lucky and it could have been a lot worse.

“Recent changes in my life have altered a lot of my perceptions and given me a renewed lease of life.”

He added: “My latest acquisition is my motor home. It’s been a bit of a game-changer for me. I’ve planned lots of trips to France and Spain.

“I know a little French - kitchen French - but I can’t converse.

“It’s one of the things that I would really like to do, to spend quite a bit of time in France and learn to speak the language far more fluently.”

Figures released by Police Scotland last year revealed one in eight incidents of violent crime over a one-year period involved a single punch.

READ MORE: Man, 35, fined £900 over assault on chef Nick Nairn

Nairn, who was the youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin star in the early 1990s, ended up with two black eyes and a bloodied nose after being struck so hard that he hit the pavement outside a Pret a Manger in Aberdeen.

His former PA and now operations manager Julia Forster was with him and helped fend off Smith with her handbag before members of the public came to their aid.

Smith had been on a Christmas works night out with friends when he claimed he overheard the TV presenter “being obnoxious” as he walked along Aberdeen’s Union Street with Miss Forster.

Both Miss Forster and Nairn said claims he was being obnoxious were not true.

The chef suffered facial injuries during the incident, which took place in the early hours of the morning. He said he had been left with a small scar, but that he was sure it would fade.