Free-Solo Climb

I have always been obsessed by the ‘human fly’ characters of early twentieth century people like George Polley and Harry Gardiner who would scale tall buildings for people’s entertainment. I desperately wanted to try this as a stunt in ‘Dangerman’ and it proved to be one of the most difficult and dangerous things I had ever tried.

The Incredible Mr Goodwin: Episode 1
The search for a building with the right kind of architecture took over three months. Eventually we found a 400ft building in the heart of London’s financial district. The building had what appeared to be ready-made hand and foot holds straight up it, and I was confident that it would be a breeze.

The hand and footholds ended up being incredibly sharp, and climbing a building quickly turned into climbing a cheese grater. Every inch was literally painstaking. To make matters worse, a squall came in when I was thirty feet from the top. We had been monitoring the weather intently, but this anomaly came out of nowhere, and now I was dealing with rain and gusts of wind which at times felt like they could pry me off the side of the building. I have never been more relieved to finish anything than that climb. Now I look back and can enjoy the stunt, but at the time it was incredibly intense.

- Jonathan Goodwin on his experience free-solo climbing in Episode 4