Knife Thrower Slices Assistant on Live TV
Thu Apr 10,10:04 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - A record-breaking knife thrower shocked Britons on Thursday when one of his daggers sliced into the head of his assistant on live TV.
Circus performer Jayde Hanson, 23, was demonstrating his skills when one of his knives hit his assistant and girlfriend, 22-year-old Yana Rodianova.
As she clutched the side of her head, horrified presenter Fern Britton shouted: "Oh my God, there is blood, quick -- get her off."
A spokeswoman for ITV's "This Morning," one of the country's most popular daytime programs, said the wound was only "a nick."
"She's absolutely fine and recovering well," the spokeswoman said, before adding ruefully: "You don't really expect that kind of thing from a world record-holder."
Over one million viewers had been watching as Hanson, who works for the British-based Cottle and Austen Circus, showed off how many knives he could hurl at Yana in 60 seconds.
He had been trying to emulate the pace of his world record-breaking effort of 120 knives thrown in two minutes which he achieved as part of National Circus Day on Tuesday.
"He felt confident as he has been throwing his mother's kitchen knives since the age of 10," the show said on its Web Site before the accident.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Hanson, whose father was an elephant tamer and mother a trapeze artist, is currently having to advertise for a new assistant as Yana, who bears two scars from previously mis-directed knives, wants to concentrate on her hula-hoop act.
His previous assistant reportedly left the job after being hit in the foot, her third injury from a wayward knife.
"In 11 years of performing, I've only hit my assistant on five occasions," he told the Daily Mail newspaper recently.