OVER the years, I’ve lost track of the weird and wonderful situations this job has landed me in. From enjoying amazing views across the Forth from the roof of the National Portrait Gallery to dragging up as a panto Dame with Allan Stewart, the unexpected is never far away.
This week, I faced a challenge unlike any before. It started with a call from Claire Meal, Cirque Berserk’s PR.
She wondered whether I might like to experience the Globe of Death or have axes and knives thrown at me?
Now, the thought of having axes thrown at me, whether or not spinning on a target at the time, leaves me cold. Some warped logic dictated that far more could go wrong in that scenario than by just stepping into the Globe of Death.
For those who haven’t seen Cirque Berserk, The Globe of Death is a metal sphere, around the inside of which four death-defying stunt-riders power their bikes at ridiculous speeds, crisscrossing and missing each other by inches.
Those petrol-fuelled hair-raisers are Brazil’s Lucius Team Riders and, not only do they ride at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, they do that while upside down... and with people in the Globe.
On this occasion, it was to be yours truly and the lovely Paoula, there to ensure I wouldn’t loose any limbs as Lucius, the boss himself, and one of his team roared around us.
Tweedy the Clown was on hand too, just make sure that I didn’t back out at the last minute, which is why, on Tuesday evening, I found myself on the stage of the Festival Theatre being ushered into the metal contraption.
With instructions not to wave my arms about (and a promise that they would not kill me), I took my place in the centre of the Globe with Paoula, her arm around me, clamping my filming arm securely by my side. Just in case.
Yes, as if being in the middle of all this wasn’t bad enough, I’d had the bright idea to broadcast the experience live on Facebook.
And so, with the Globe of Death sealed and Paoula and myself frozen in place, the engines revved. Before I knew it there were two bikes, both within touching distance, rocketing around at such a speed it was hard to keep them in shot.
While upside down, Lucius even managed to tap my head a few times, it was only later I realised that this meant he was riding one-handed.
Exhilarating, my stint in the Globe of Death has to be one of the most adrenalin-pumping experiences I’ve ever had.
I’m off to see the guys in action over the weekend, you can too, there are four more performances of Cirque Berserk at the Festival Theatre left; one this evening (Friday) at 7.30pm, and three tomorrow (Saturday) 2pm, 5pm, and 7.30pm. In the meantime, you can watch my FBLive broadcast here: https://www.facebook.com/edinburgh.evening.news/videos/1758457327546168/