Hannibal Hellmurto, sword swallower with the infamous Circus of Horrors, appearing at Aberdeen’s Music Hall next month, impaled himself live on stage in front of a packed audience in Bradford's St George’s Hall.
The accident happened mid-way through the second half of the show, he had already swallowed a giant sword, a curved serpent sword and three swords simultaneously, this time he was swallowing the most deadly of all sword swallowers implements… a lit neon tube.
It is considered the most deadly for three reasons - if it breaks it would leave glass inside you, it contains mercury and, of course, it is powered by electricity - any of which would almost certainly kill you.
In this case, luckily the tube did not break but it did rip a ten centimetre hole in his oesophagus. Like the true performer he is, he managed to finish the show, but was struggling to breath. He was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he was taken to intensive care and treated for three weeks. He was later taken to another ward for a further two weeks before being discharged.
Hannibal was one of the members of The Circus of Horrors when they stormed into the semi-finals of 2011’s Britain's Got Talent, prompting quotes such as ‘Fantastic, that’s what I call Entertainment’ David Hasselhoff , ‘It was gruesomely good’ Amanda Holden and ‘I loved it’ Simon Cowell.
Hannibal, a former German tax official returned to perform with The Circus of Horrors at Birmingham's NEC along with Graham Norton and Jimmy Carr in front of 24,000 over two days, neither of the comedians knowing that he had just come out of hospital after his near fatal accident.
The Circus of Horrors – The Ventriloquist is at the Music Hall on Thursday, February 9 and tickets are on sale now online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and The Lemon Tree.