David Bedford said to the Guardian; "I am pleased Ofcom (the telecommunications regulator) has now vindicated my claim that The Number has 'ripped off' my image."
The number claimed that the runners were based on numerous runners from the 1970s, in particular Steve Prefontaine, see adland's previous post.
Ofcom said the television adverts "do caricature David Bedford by way of a comically exaggerated representation of him looking like he did in the 1970s, sporting a hairstyle and facial hair like his at the time, and wearing running kit almost identical to that distinctively worn by him at the time" in the Telegraph
left to right, Steve, The Number, Bedford
He had not complained immediately because he had initially been given legal advice that he would have no case, he said.
He changed his mind after "a barrage of abuse" from people unhappy with the 118 118 service. "I would go into pubs and people would shout, 'I've got your number'."
Even though Bedford hasn't necessarily suffered actual financial harm, he's spent £50,000 in legal fees in the case. He said it was reasonable to be paid a fee. Mr Bedford is now taking the directory inquiries service to court for using his image without permission.