Did you spot me on the balcony of Buckingham Palace last weekend? I was so pleased to get an invitation to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations...
I was at one of our Surrey gymnastics clubs recently and I had an interesting conversation with a parent who was asking me about my background in stunts and how it related to gymnastics, so I thought maybe you might like to hear about some of the stunt work I was involved in.
By the way, did you spot me in any of the Jubilee footage taken on the palace balcony? Only joking! I’m referring to the TV commercial I filmed in 2002 that came out to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It was a T-Mobile advert celebrating all the weird and wonderful things that Britain loves and the scene I was in was set on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. OK, it wasn’t really Buckingham Palace - it was Pinewood Studios!
The advert was narrated by comedian Harry Hill as he reeled off everything we, as a nation, love about Britain. In the scene I was featured in I appear on the royal balcony ready to do a tandem skydive. Harry Hill says, “We love doing things for charity.” The man I am attached to eats a kebab as Harry Hill states, “We love kebabs.” As we jump off the balcony we land on a trampoline and soar back up again.
You might remember the advert but if not you can WATCH IT HERE >>
If you think the guy with the kebab looks familiar his name is Nathan Amzi and he was a competitor on ITV’s ‘The Voice.’
RICHARD AND NATHAN
Sometimes I have ended up doing the weirdest stunts. Jumping off Buckingham Palace’s balcony doing a skydive onto a trampoline is certainly something I would never have expected to get asked to do but these comedy stunts are always a lot of fun.
RICHARD WITH KEBAB MAN DUMMY!
In the film ‘Suzie Gold’ I performed a comedy ice skating scene where I got knocked over by a rather large lady. My skating skills were also used in a TV commercial for ice cream where I was dressed like a polar bear eating an ice cream whilst skate-boarding through the streets of Milan, Italy. That was a very hot day!
RICHARD AS A POLAR BEAR IN MILAN
I appeared in lots of pantomimes up and down the country as part of an acrobatic comedy troupe called ‘The Acromaniacs’ and we performed a slick routine involving lots of acro, balancing, vaulting, somersaults and trampettes. In ‘Pudsey -The Movie’ I doubled the character of the baker and was involved in lots of slapstick stunts and had to dive into a huge apple pie. All in a day’s work! In the long running BBC comedy ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ I was often called in to do stunts like falling out of a tree or tripping down the stairs. So life as a stuntman can take you in a lot of different directions. These stunts, though funny, still require a lot of skill and can be very dangerous, so safety always has to be the number one priority.
LEARNING LOTS OF SKILLS
My gymnastics background was the reason I got chosen for so many different roles. Gymnastics forms the basis of pretty much all the skills needed to be a stuntman. You need great core stability and strength, spatial awareness, timing and coordination, all things that your child will learn through the wonderful sport of gymnastics. When I was working in the stunt industry, the stunt coordinators would contact me if they specifically needed someone who specialised in gymnastics. I am so grateful that I chose gymnastics and stuck with it through the years as it’s given me such an interesting life and the chance to work with amazing people like Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr, Tim Burton, Guy Ritchie, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
RICHARD & THE HARRY POTTER STUNT TEAM
Talking of Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe makes me think of the magic of Harry Potter and the great time I had working as a stuntman in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My aim is that you feel a little bit of magic each time you visit your club. We work hard to give you that extra sparkle. Remember that gymnastics will help your child with all their other sports too, building their mental focus, concentration and goal setting skills, particularly important if they are doing exams at the moment. Happy gymming!!
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