James Kingston: A walk of Fame.

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Daredevil James Kingston created history on Tuesday when he became the first person to walk on the Wembley Stadium’s legendary arch. Although BBC presenter Dan Walker also scaled the arch on FA Cup final day, but he stayed within the maintenance cradle during his stunt. Rising to about 133 meters above ground, the archway is the longest unsupported roof structure in the world. Home to the England national team and countless iconic FA Cup finals, spectators are used to seeing players performing spectacular feats on the pitch but James provided them with a memory from which they would not be able to turn their back on for quite some time.

Born on July 18, 1990 this Southampton lad is accustomed to performing death-defying stunts, be it performing backflips on top of the suspension bridge in Kiev or hanging atop tall cranes. Ironically, James is afraid of heights. In one of his interviews he says “When you are standing at such a height, your survival instincts kick in which act as inhibiters in some situations. It is my life’s mission to overcome these instincts and hence I started climbing.”  Remarkably, he cites a fear of heights as a driving force behind his death-defying stunts. He started doing ‘parkour’ – a mixture of athletics and acrobatics that involves jumping from rooftops – at the age of 17 as a way to conquer his fear. It was a picture of him hanging one-handed from a crane in Cambridge that went viral that shot him to fame, and he has since scaled iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, the Moscow Bridge in Kiev (where he performed a back flip) and the Princess Tower in Dubai. He states that although his capers may seem reckless and precarious, he himself is very safety conscious. His escapades have garnered more than 11 million viewers on his YouTube channel.

He was hoisted up to the base of the arch by a maintenance cable, after which he climbed up to the apex and spent 2 hours there filming himself and the panoramic view of London. He was accompanied by 30 safety and security expert to oversee the stunt. The stunt was prepared in advance to promote the launch of EE’s new 4G enabled action cam- a device that can stream live feed to the internet without needing a smartphone or a laptop. Speaking about the achievement James Kingston said “I’ve dreamt of being on top of the Wembley arch the day I first laid my eyes on it eight years ago. It is such an iconic landmark. I have stood on top of many famous buildings all around the world but I’ve never felt more on top the world than on top of the Wembley arch today. It goes without saying that this stunning view comes with a ‘don’t try this at home warning’!” The footage of the stunt was beamed live from a camera attached to his head and additional cameras on the arch placed in preparation of the event.

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