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Spectacular stunt is Bradford-born escapologist Antony Britton’s way of helping others beat cancer
Daredevil escapologist Antony Britton is to attempt a daring escape from a straightjacket while hanging 50 feet upside down from burning ropes over a river – to raise money for a cancer charity.
He will be donating every penny raised to the charity from his great escape above the River Calder at the Wakefield Wharf Company, in Wakefield, on Halloween next Wednesday, at 7pm.
Mr Britton, who says his first “thrilling” escape was out of an attic bedroom after being grounded by his mum at the age of 12, got hooked on escapology when he was just six listening to his grandfather’s tales of Harry Houdini.
His escapes so far have included being buried alive and getting out from a wooden crate laced with explosives and chains. He has picked his way through handcuffs, locks and shackles as well as escaped from ropes, steel cages and glass chambers – but he says despite all the past happy endings he is still holding his breath for the next one.
“It’s the element of the unknown that holds the thrill. Obviously it’s well planned and I make it as safe as I can but you just never know how it could turn out. If the wind’s up next Wednesday those ropes will burn a lot quicker,” he said.
As a dyslexic schoolboy Mr Britton said he would use stunts and tricks to detract his peers from “taking the mickey” out of him.
But the fascination with escapology grew and by the time he was 20 he had joined an underground escape scene performing with and for others like him. They used to meet in Salts Mill when it was derelict, out of view of health and safety “killjoys”, he said.
But this year he has decided to re-emerge into public view and use his art to help others by organising next week’s Escape For Life stunt.
“Everyone will be touched by cancer at some point in their lives.
“I have been. Some people I’ve known have survived, others have not including a friend’s nine-year-old son.”
Mr Britton is looking for any businesses willing to sponsor him for the cause and still needs a lighting company to come and ‘shed light’ on the escape on the night.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/escapeforlife.