A 72-year-old reverend and martial arts expert has nailed a world record attempt at a charity karate tournament in Bradford.

More than 100 senior and junior martial arts experts from across the north of England watched in amazement as Ken Owen broke his own world record on a bed of nails today.

Known as the Iron Maiden, the challenge involved Mr Owen lying down between two beds of nails with a pair of heavy men stood on top of him.

Together they made a combined weight of 31st 12lb and by taking the strain for more than ten seconds, the Reverend set a new world record – breaking his own attempt last year.

It will be the 49th time the Reverend, from Wales, has appeared in the Guinness Book of Records.

Mr Owen, who performed his latest feat at Bradford’s Richard Dunn centre, said: “I decided in August last year to retire at 48 world records but I have been committed to raising money for cancer charities since the 1980s and I didn’t want to stop.”

A packed Richard Dunn centre had already seen Glynis Larum, a woman chosen from the audience to perform the Iron Maiden.

She managed more than ten seconds with 11st 7lb of weight on top of her.

After successfully completing his record attempt, Mr Owen said: “There are no secrets at all. It is just muscle control, breathing control and a little bit of mind over matter.”

Melissa Holmes, a double junior Commonwealth gold winner in karate, was among those in the crowd cheering on Mr Owen.

The 17-year-old of Pudsey, said: “It was very impressive. If I could do that at his age, I’d be very happy!”

She was taking part in the charity karate tournament on Saturday, which involved 15 clubs taking part in 230 events and raised money for Cancer Research UK and Unicef.

Competition organiser Peter Allen said: “We are hoping we will have raised a substantial amount for the two charities.”