Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and Arthur Lager experience skydiving at Basingstoke Airkix

Steve Hewlett and Arthur Lager are given a helping hand by Airkix instructor Chris Andrew.

Steve Hewlett and Arthur Lager are given a helping hand by Airkix instructor Chris Andrew. Buy this photo

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

HE’S got used to hitting the heights over the last year, but this week, Basingstoke ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and his sidekick Arthur Lager experienced a whole new high.

Steve and his dummy Arthur took a step into the unknown as they took part in a flight at Basingstoke Airkix.

Steve, who shot to public attention on Britain’s Got Talent, was filming a clip for his YouTube channel at the indoor skydiving facility, at Basingstoke Leisure Park, on Monday.

He said: “We have a bucket list for Arthur, and skydiving was on that list. I just wanted to do something a bit different for fans to look at, instead of the usual interviews I do on the channel.

“It was a really good experience and was enjoyable, once I had got the hang of it a bit.

“I don’t know of any other ventriloquist who has taken a puppet skydiving. Keith Harris and Orville definitely haven’t – everyone knows that Orville can’t fly.”

Instructor Chris Andrew said he had been impressed by how Steve had handled the flight.

He added: “Having a puppet in there does make it more difficult. It’s all to do with the surface area – suddenly there is an imbalance.

“I thought Steve did really well. We took Arthur for a test run a couple of weeks ago to make sure it was all safe. We will always try to accommodate people with unusual requests.”

Steve shot to fame in 2013 when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. He came fourth in the competition after being voted for by the public to return as a “wild card” for the grand final.

The father-of-one, who started ventriloquism as a 12-year-old pupil at The Vyne Community School, in South View, has embarked on a 38-stop theatre tour.

He is now based in Eastbourne, but still has fam-ily living in Basingstoke – and he will be bringing his show to The Haymarket theatre in Basingstoke on June 21.

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