Human torch has record in sight

Jonathan Tate in action
Jonathan Tate in action

FOR most it’s madness – for daredevil stuntman Jonathan Tate it’s his job!

Every night the 25-year-old takes care of the small matter of setting himself alight and right now the “human torch” has one thing on his mind – the world record.

Jonathan Tate.

Jonathan Tate.

Hartlepool-born Jonathan, who studied at English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College, has his eyes set on running further than anyone has before while set alight.

Not that he thinks he will have any problems. In fact Jonathan claims to have broken the record in training twice already – this week!

He even thinks he ran further than the current record of 78 metres during the Extreme Stunt Show team’s visit to Hartlepool earlier this month.

“The current record is 78 metres which was covered in 17 seconds,” Jonathan told the Mail.

“That was set in 2009 but even if that has been beaten since then I’m pretty sure I could beat it for a new record.

“I’ve written to the Guinness Book of Records, I’m just waiting for them to get back in touch.”

Jonathan’s parents, Peter and Val, still live in the Rossmere area of Hartlepool and he admits they weren’t too pleased when he revealed he was going to quit his job as a carpenter to travel with the Extreme Stunt Show team setting himself alight every night.

But Jonathan, who has three older brothers and four older sisters, dreams of reaching the very top.

“I’m looking to get on the stunt register which means I could perform stunts in films,” he said.

“There’s a lot of training involved and it costs a lot of money but it’s something I’m looking to do in the future.”

Despite wearing a full fire-proof suit and helmet every time he sets himself alight, there are risks to Jonathan’s daily daredevil stunt.

He says the heat feels unbearable at times and the smoke gets inside his headgear, making it hard for Jonathan to breathe.

And for the first time in a live show, Jonathan had a real scare while performing in his hometown last year.

“When we were in Hartlepool last year the flames actually got inside my headgear,” he said.

“That was the scariest moment I’ve ever had, the flames burnt my face but luckily the lads realised what had happened and took my helmet off straight away.”