Isle of Wight sword swallower Ian Brown with Ryde Extreme Performers. Picture by Peter Boam.
"THE only time I have injured myself with the sword was when I was cleaning it," said the new world record holder for swallowing curved swords.
Ian Brown, 29, from Melville Street, Ryde, is a house husband and extreme performer, who on Tuesday became the first person to swallow two curved swords, holding them in his throat for 13 uncomfortable seconds.
He said: "I’d been doing some sideshow acts, like the human blockhead, where you hammer nails into your nose, and mental floss, where you put balloons up your nose and out of your mouth, but I wanted to do more."
After Ian and his performance group, Ryde Extreme Performers, saw the Circus of Horrors at Southsea, the group had a workshop with the cast of the show.
Haze, creator and ringmaster of the circus, said: "We didn’t try them on anything too extreme, just juggling, limbo, that sort of thing.
"We then asked if anyone would like to try sword swallowing with a straightened-out wire coat hanger and Ian said he’d like to have a go."
Ian said: "It was an opportunity not to be missed! It did not go well, so I carried on trying it three times a day.
"At one point it was about 40 times a day I would be trying to put a coat hanger down my throat. It was September last year when I first managed a sword."
The circus invited Ian, whose stage name was El Lurchio, to join them for guest performances.
Haze said: "He had amazing control of his gag reflex. He’d learnt to swallow curved swords, with a 45-degree angle, two of them at the same time, and hold them inside him.
"The editor of the Guinness World Records came to see us for a night out, we told him what we were doing and we decided to try for a new record."
The record was set during the Circus of Horrors’ performance at Ferneham Hall, Fareham.
Ian said: "You notice curved swords more than straight ones because they press in places, which isn’t very nice.
"Straight ones I don’t notice unless they’re cold, though you can feel your heart beat against the swords."
The Circus of Horrors resident sword swallower, Hannibal Hellmurto, was taken to hospital at the beginning of the year, after tearing a 10cm hole in his oesophagus. He spent five weeks in hospital with a feeding tube while it healed.