GUY MARTIN BE­HIND THE SCENES ‘GUY’S LABRADOR NIGEL IS CURLED UP BACK­STAGE CHEW­ING A BONE’

DE ATH • TH E OF W L A L A W O E F H D T SPE­CIAL E • A H T T H A • DE TH OF LWALE MCN’S Stephen Dav­i­son was one of the lucky few to be in the au­di­ence for Guy’s amaz­ing record at­tempt

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3.55pm

I’m amongst the first of sev­eral hun­dred spec­ta­tors to board a coach that takes us to the EX-RAF han­gar where the 37-me­tre Wall of Death has been con­structed from 48 ship­ping con­tain­ers.

A young guy who runs a tyre busi­ness in one of the other prop­er­ties on the site tells me Guy is go­ing to use the tim­ber from the wall to floor his new house in Kirm­ing­ton af­ter the record at­tempt.

4pm to 6.30pm

The two-and-a-half-hour wait re­minds me of the royal vis­its I’ve cov­ered in the past, where the au­di­ence is bussed in and we all stand around sur­rounded by se­cu­rity men await­ing the ar­rival of the VIP. Guy’s girl­friend Sharon min­gles with the crowd but there is no sign of the man him­self.

6.31pm

“Can red wrist­bands come to the front,” a burly bouncer shouts and we shuf­fle around the out­side of Guy’s huge wall to Ken Fox’s tiny tra­di­tional wooden struc­ture at the back of the han­gar.

Here we’re in­formed that we are the se­lect few who will watch three-time BMX world cham­pion Shanaze Reade at­tempt to break the cy­cling speed record on the smaller wall. There isn’t a lot of en­thu­si­asm for this amongst these ar­dent Guy Martin fans un­til they re­alise that we are ac­tu­ally over­look­ing his back­stage area. Some of the crowd shout en­cour­age­ment and Guy re­sponds with a few thumbs ups and “Al­right boys”.

6.45pm

Guy ap­pears a lit­tle ner­vous as the start of the live broad­cast ap­proaches. So ner­vous in fact that he takes a plas­tic bot­tle and clam­bers be­neath the scaf­fold­ing to have a quick pee!

6.55pm

With some­thing as dan­ger­ous as what Guy is at­tempt­ing, ‘live’ is a rel­a­tive term. Guy’s Labrador, Nigel, is curled up on the back­stage set­tee, chew­ing a bone, as pre­sen­ter Steve Jones in­ter­views Guy and his new For­mula One friend, David Coulthard, 20 min­utes be­fore view­ers at home be­gin tun­ing in.

7.13pm

My phone beeps with a mes­sage. “How does the wall look?” John Mcguin­ness, Guy’s for­mer TT ri­val, en­quires.

Guy and a girl with a Guin­ness Book of World Records clipboard join us on the top of Fox’s rick­ety wall to watch Shanaze make her record at­tempt. “Fair play lass!” Guy shouts as she is de­clared a new world record-holder. Mean­while, Nigel con­tin­ues to gnaw at his bone and re­fuses to leave the sofa.

7.44pm

We’re in­structed to use the earplugs we’ve been sup­plied with as the In­dian roars into life. Cam­eras swing back and forth on booms as the floor man­ager, barely au­di­ble above the cheer­ing, counts down from 40 sec­onds to 10 as the real show busi­ness be­gins.

The eight times Scar­bor­ough Gold Cup win­ner strug­gles to main­tain a steady throt­tle open­ing with the In­dian. He shakes his head as he con­sults with men­tor Ken Fox.

8.20pm

Guy rolls back into the main arena for his sec­ond and fi­nal at­tempt at break­ing the record. This time he is rid­ing the Rob North-framed 750cc BSA triple that he built at home, es­pe­cially for the record at­tempt.

“It’s a to­tal bitsa,” his Dad, Ian tells me. “He’s thought it all out and he knows what he wants for the job.”

A cam­era crew catches a close-up of Nigel doz­ing on the couch.

8.25pm

Guy ob­vi­ously feels more at home on the BSA. The en­gine note is stead­ier and he is faster.af­ter a few warm up laps his me­chanic, Cammy urges him to “give it the beans” and Guy blasts up on to the Wall for a sec­ond run.

He is faster but it’s on his third run that Guy sets the new record speed of 78.15mph. He still isn’t sat­is­fied though and asks for an­other go. Guy’s ex­tra run causes com­plete con­fu­sion and Steve Jones ad­mits to cam­era that this wasn’t in the script. Want­ing more, the crowd cheer Guy on as he heads back up the wall. His time is no faster and he con­sid­ers yet an­other run but is fi­nally told he must stop.

‘Want­ing more, the crowd cheer Guy on as he heads back up the wall’

78mph on a BSA, ver­ti­cal and los­ing con­scious­ness, Guy’s world record is well de­served Non­plussed, Guy’s dog Nigel re­mained asleep through­out Guy and girl­friend Sharon cel­e­brate with a vic­tory brew It’s of­fi­cial, Guy Martin is the fastest Wall of Death r

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