Eddie Kidd

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Eddie Kidd
Born (1959-06-22) 22 June 1959 (age 55)
Islington, London, England
Occupation Stunt performer

Eddie Kidd, OBE[1] (born 22 June 1959) is an English former stunt performer. He was paralysed and suffered brain damage following an accident in 1996.[2] On 15 June 2012, it was announced that he had been made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.[3]

Stunt work[edit]

Kidd jumping over cars at the Royal Oak Football Ground, Harwich, England in 1984

Kidd started his career at the age of fourteen. He is the holder of many world records for jumping over cars and buses. He has worked as a stunt double in many films notably for Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights, Roger Moore and Michael Caine in Bullseye!, and Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye. One of his most famous motorcycle stunts was in the 1979 film Hanover Street starring Harrison Ford. Doubling for Ford on a motorbike, he jumped a 120 feet (37 m) railway cutting at 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. He also doubled for Val Kilmer in Top Secret!.

In his role as stunt biker Dave Munday in the 1980 film Riding High, Kidd performed a motorcycle jump across an 80 feet gap in a disused viaduct across the Blackwater River in Essex. In 1993, he jumped over the Great Wall of China on a motorcycle.[4] Despite performing over 12,000 jumps in his career,[5] he did not have a UK motorcycle licence until 1995.

Jump contest[edit]

In 1993, American motorcycle daredevil Robbie Knievel challenged Kidd to a world title motorcycle "jump off" competition in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Knievel, son of the late Evel Knievel, had deemed Kidd to be the only motorcycle jump rider in the world worthy of challenging him. The event was televised as a pay-per-view event titled The Daredevil Duel, Knievel vs. Kidd. The competition required each rider to make three motorbike jumps, with the cumulative distance covered by each rider calculated to determine the winner of the contest. Kidd won the contest by out-jumping Knievel by six feet. However, Mal Hudson had jumped further than either, a feat achieved in 1979 at Essex Bridge, Staffordshire. That stunt was used in a part of the film Riding High (1979). As Knievel and Kidd were never to meet again in a competitive capacity, the winner's belt from that day remains with Kidd.

Accident[edit]

On August 6, 1996, Kidd was involved in a serious motorcycle accident while performing at the Bulldog Bash, held at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon. In comparison to some of his previous stunts, the jump Kidd made that day was relatively minor, comprising a jump of approximately 50 ft (15 m) across a drag strip. The relatively short landing area beyond the drag strip consisted of an uphill incline leading to the edge of a steep embankment. Although Kidd completed the jump and landed the bike upright on two wheels, his chin struck the petrol tank of his motorcycle and he was knocked unconscious. As a result, Kidd was unable to prevent himself and his bike from continuing up and over the 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m) embankment edge. Kidd sustained serious head and pelvic injuries in the resulting fall.[6] After the accident, doctors told Kidd's parents that it was possible he could be in a coma for up to 10 years. However, he regained consciousness within three months of the accident, but was left paralysed and with brain damage.[2]

Later career[edit]

Kidd appeared in an episode of Russell Brand's 2002 TV documentary series RE:Brand to talk about his life after the accident. Kidd took control of a motorcycle again when he formally opened the Beyond Boundaries Live 2007 Exhibition at Sandown Park, Esher on 29 June 2007. On 17 July 2012, he carried the Olympic Torch during its relay journey through Lewes, East Sussex.[7]

On 17 April 2011, Kidd started the 2011 London Marathon, ditching his wheelchair at the start and walking the rest of the way, stating it would take "four weeks to complete" and that it was his "greatest stunt yet". On 6 June, he completed it.[8] Kidd also said he would compete in another marathon in two years' time.

Personal life[edit]

Kidd was once married to dancer and actress Debbie Ash, the sister of actress Leslie Ash; after having one child they divorced. Kidd married Stringfellows waitress Sarah Carr and they had one child before their divorce.

Twenty-three years after a brief relationship with her, Kidd met model Samantha Kirli again in 2004 and they married in 2007 but separated in December 2012.[9] In August 2013, Samantha was convicted of assaulting Kidd. She was sentenced to five months in jail and given a restraining order.[10]

Popular culture[edit]

In 1984, Martech released a computer game based on Kidd's stunts titled Eddie Kidd Jump Challenge.

In 1988, Kidd branched into clothes and hair modelling and appeared in commercials for companies such as Sunsilk, Vieda, and Levi's. Arguably, Kidd's most well known commercial appearance was in a 1987 Levi's advert, "Entrance" directed by Roger Lyons. In the story line, the protagonist (played by Kidd) is permitted entry into a nightclub wearing black Levi's 501 jeans as others are being turned away by the doorman for breaking the dress code.

Kidd has also had a singing career, releasing several singles such as "Leave it to the Kidd" (Decca FR 13795) which was played on Tony Blackburn's show Record of the Week.[citation needed] He was known as the "mighty soldier".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birthday Honours Direct.gov
  2. ^ a b "BBC News - Stuntman Eddie Kidd's wife Samantha jailed for assaulting him". Bbc.co.uk. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  3. ^ "Eddie Kidd". BBC News. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ "A great jump ove the Great Wall". The Deseret News. 11 May 1993. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sailing across river". Herald Journal. 6 September 1993. Retrieved 16 August 2013. "Kidd, 31, who performed stunts in James Bond movies, has made more than 12,000 jumps without breaking a bone." 
  6. ^ Lowe, David (5 March 2009). "It's heartbreaking when Eddie's kids ring...but can't understand him". The Sun (London). Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Eddie Kidd". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  8. ^ "http://running.competitor.com/2011/06/news/brain-damaged-former-daredevil-completes-marathon_29245". Competitor.com. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Sabey, Ryan (2012-12-12). "Wife number three walks out on crippled stunt ace Eddie Kidd | The Sun |News". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  10. ^ Stuntman Eddie Kidd's wife Samantha jailed for assaulting him http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-23535011

External links[edit]