A professional tightrope-walking artist had to be admitted to hospital last night after he inadvertently fell from his tightrope during a performance.
The injured man, Ed Banger, 36, was appearing as part of the travelling Corona Circus in Moscow.
Banger initially looked confident as he stepped off his platform, 45 feet high, but started to totter on the 1-inch-wide rope, amidst "oohs" and "aahs" from the circus audience, which was made up entirely of children under the age of ten.
At the sound of a drumroll, Banger became visibly anxious, and attempted to turn around and go back to his platform, but his normally-assured footing deserted him, and he tumbled head-first into the circus ring below, landing like the coyote does in the Road Runner cartoons, with his bonce in the earth, and his feet sticking up into the air.
Circus owner, Mike Simpleton , said:
"We're shocked. It's not something you often see at a circus, a man 45 feet up in the air, on a 1-inch-wide rope, falling to the ground, and landing awkwardly. Obviously, we'll be assessing the situation and all of our safety procedures, and we'll consider whether it's safe for him to carry on."
A planned stunt in which Banger intended to ride a unicycle with a puncture across the rope has had to be put on ice for the moment.