Thursday, 3 July 2008

Uke It!

This weekend the first Italian Ukulele festival "UKEit" is being held in Vicenza.
Once word got out that international Ukulele stars James Hill and Bosko and Honey had accepted the invitation, Italian players came pouring out of the woodwork. It looks like it's going to rock!
The event is the brainchild of the talented folks from "Istituto Barlumen" and they had such a good response that they even managed to produce a CD packed full of an eclectic array of Italian Ukulele tracks.
Track 15 on the CD is performed by a little known sword-swallower and closet Uke player. See if you can guess who it is by listening to this sample.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Good Face for Radio

I'm on the radio tonight and tomorrow night at midnight in Italy on Radio Tre in "La Fabbrica di Polli" an off-the-wall comedy show.
3/7/08 Update: The show was great! If you want to hear the two episodes (in Italian) via the magic of the interwebs follow these links for Episode One or Episode two.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Iona's show goes on!

I just heard that my friend Iona just sailed through the semifinals of Britain's got Talent despite a nasty injury this morning. What a trooper. She deserves this success - she's a great person and a beautiful performer.
Simon Cowell and the other judges were bowled over by the courage she showed: going on in front of the nation despite the pain and fear that an injury like that can cause.
You can see Iona's site here
Over the next few days we will try and post more information to the site and keep you updated on her progress.


Thursday, 6 March 2008


I don't normally enjoy doing television shows but the "Clever!" show in Germany turned out to be an exception. The show has been going for several seasons but there are no signs that it's running out of steam.

There was a great family atmosphere to the production. The director's dog padded round the office and one of the presenters had a tiny child hanging from her hip when she wasn't actually on stage. Everyone was friendly and efficient.
I did an assortment of swords and finished with a new 12kg hammerdrill.

The long sword was ably removed from my throat with a flourish by the gorgeous German actress Natalia Avelon, the actress who played Uschi Obermaier in 8 Mile high (Das Wilde Leben).

Check out the YouTube video here.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Project Damocles

Here we go again. Seems like most of my news this year has been about Guinness World Records, so it's only fitting that I should see the year out with one last record-breaking adventure: a few weeks ago I set the record for the heaviest object to be sword-swallowed. I wanted something spectacular so I decided to up the ante on my signature act The Jackhammer Swallow by swallowing his big brother, a 38kg demolition hammer.
This created all sorts of technical difficulties - the bit was 25mm thick (1 inch), I couldn't lift 38kg above my head and if I did figure out a way of getting it up there and down my throat, how was I going to stop it from falling over and splitting me open from the inside? To make matters worse, I wanted the hammer to be running. I mean, why bother, unless you're going to do the thing properly, right?
After a couple of months development I settled on winching the hammer into position mechanically then lowering it down manually until I was carrying all the weight. Two guide tracks stopped the hammer from falling out of alignment when I took my hands away. Guinness regulations stated that I had to support the weight of the hammer for at least three seconds for the claim to be valid. This kind of act often can't be trained for too close to showdate because of the risk of small injuries that would render the show impossible. I did the final test swallow two weeks before and then started training my neck and face for the weight. A few days before the show I drove to the RTL studios in Cologne, Germany, where the show was going to be filmed live.
You can see the result here.

You can see in the video that the hammer jammed on the guides and by the third attempt I started to think it wasn't going to happen, especially when I realised I was struggling to lift the weight. I found the force for one final push and the runners thankfully ran freely on the guides. A few more seconds of pain and the job was done: the fourth record this year.

Time to rest! See you all next year for more adventures.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Errata Corrige

Bladthorne should be Blackthorne. Due to a balls up by the Associated Press my name was spelt wrong in the press release that followed my recent Guinness World Record - The World's Heaviest Sword Swallow - a 38kg Demolition Hammer. I will write more about the record when I get a moment but for now I need to get this information out as the story sparked a lot of interest in the press but they are all chasing the wrong name.

More meta data for the search engines: Error. Bladthorne does not exist. Bladthorne is Thomas Blackthorne. Bladthorne Demolition hammer jackhammer
road hammer Guinness Record 38kg Germany Bladthorne sword swallower swallow

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The High Priestess of Punk!

When I was growing up Nina Hagen was my heroine - beautiful, talented and completely wild. Her first albums were painted in shocking punk colours, without the grunginess of the UK punk scene.
AND... she wrote Naturträne, one of my all-time favourite songs.
So how happy was I this weekend to find out she was a guest star on a TV show I was on?!
In fact, it turned out that she was to be there during my section. Woohoo!
We chatted after the show and she still has the beauty of an untamed creative animal. Fantastic!
I hope we stay in touch.