Stuntman’s really flying high after a golden performance

Nicholas Daines competing in Barcelona. Picture courtesy of James Blashaw
Nicholas Daines competing in Barcelona. Picture courtesy of James Blashaw

A stuntman from Apsley is continuing to soar, after a double dose of success in a European high-diving event in the Ukraine.

Nicholas Daines was crowned European Masters 3M Champion and 10M Champion, scooping two gold medals at the event in Kiev’s CSK stadium.

In a busy week, Nicholas managed to bag both titles for Great Britain at the competition, as well as taking part in the filming of the new Brad Pitt movie World War Z and doubling for The Mummy star John Hannah on a new comedy television show.

He was impressively consistent throughout the competition and performed his daring new stunt dive – starting in a handstand on the top of the 10m platform and pushing off backwards into a double somersault with one-and-a-half twists.

An expert in the air, Nicholas has previously been nominated for a World Stunt Award in the Best Work at Height category for his role in The Golden Compass.

The death-defying fall depicted in the film took place from a real glacier in Switzerland – following a fight with James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.

“Gymnastics and diving are an integral part of my stunt work and I use them every day on set,” said Nicholas.

“The spatial awareness these disciplines develop has saved my life in the stunt industry.

“For example, my diving skills allowed me to execute an 80ft fall from a seven-storey building while performing one-and-three-quarter somersaults on to an air bag. That was while I was stunt doubling Claire Goose on her award-winning exit from the television crime drama Waking The Dead.”

His hectic filming schedule makes setting aside time to train with Beaumont Diving Academy in Hatfield and Rosebowl Diving Club in Pasadena, California very difficult – but he manages to cram it all in.

Nicholas was also an international gymnast for Team GB in the extreme sport of Double Mini Trampoline in which, tragically, his team-mate Chris Fordham lost his life in 2006 after suffering severe head injuries.

The high-flyer is passionate about his work, as well as his sport and fitness, and has written a book about the entertainment industry which combines the two.

He hopes to publish the book later this year.

Nicholas has now set his sights on the World Championships in Italy in 2012, where he hopes to give Olympic favourite Tom Daley a run – and dive – for his money.