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Hang on...that's the bloke off Grand Designs; ...and TV's Dr Jonathan!

TV STAR and charity abseiler Kevin McCloud found Middlesbrough's lofty 160ft Transporter Bridge a grand - but rather scary - design.

Kevin, 52, who presents the popular Grand Designs programme for Channel 4, and Dr Jonathan Foyle, 41, star of BBC's Climbing Great Buildings, both raised a total of around pounds 5,000 for the North-east Heritage Skills Initiative.

First, Kevin and Jonathan ratcheted themselves up ropes to the top of the iconic bridge, which is celebrating its centenary, then abseiled down. Jonathan did a bungee jump too for good measure!

The bridge was specially shut for the occasion and it was all filmed for TV.

Eight members of the public, from all over the UK, also completed bungee jumps.

Kevin admitted he's a vertigo sufferer. He said: "I made a series about tallest buildings about 12 years ago called Don't Look Down...But this is high and very exposed!" Jonathan said: "I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment. It's a bit daunting - I've never done a bungee jump before."

Afterwards, he said shakily: "Never again!" The Transporter Bridge, opened in 1911, is a popular venue for charity stunts.

Experts Tim Lasby and British women's climbing champ Lucy Creamer from Wall Walkers were on hand to ensure safety.

The Heritage Skills Initiative champions vital skills needed to maintain historic buildings, such as stone masonry, lime plastering, traditional carpentry and stained glass window making.

Hosted by the North of England Civic Trust, the initiative is involved in raising awareness and creating training and partnership opportunities. An exhibition of various heritage skills and crafts was held nearby on the day.

Middlesbrough's Historic Quarter is among areas to have benefited from the work done by the North of England Civic Trust.

The event was organised by Andie Harris, the North of England Civic Trust's learning and skills manager, who was first to bungee jump.


PHEW: Grand Designs' Kevin, above right, and far left with Dr Jonathan after their Transporter Bridge abseil Pictures by IAN McINTYRE DOWN WE GO: Kevin McCloud, in black, and Dr Jonathan Foyle, in red
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2011
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