Channel 4 to face probe over Death Wish Live! hanging stunt

LONDON – Ofcom has launched an investigation into Channel 4's 'Death Wish Live!' programme after viewers branded the show 'sick and irresponsible' when a live hanging stunt nearly went wrong.

The programme, which is broadcast on E4 at 10pm each night this week, came off the air for seven seconds on Monday while paramedics tended to Jonathan Goodwin after he was cut free from the gallows.

Fifteen viewers called in to complain to Ofcom about the show and six viewers complained to Channel 4 directly about fears that the stunts could encourage copycat attempts and more seriously, death or serious injury.

There have also been two complaints about the promotional trailers for the show.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "As a result of a pre-arranged safety measure, when Jonathan did not manage to escape within 30 seconds, his friend cut the noose. At no point was Jonathan's life in danger.

"Jonathan was immediately seen by paramedics on site who have confirmed that he is well and his only injuries are minor rope burns."

After the stunt, Goodwin revealed that he had been told it was "dangerous and stupid" and that it turned out that the advice was right.

He added that despite a sore neck he was fine and was hoping to buried alive during the show on Friday.

Tonight's episode features Zamora, the "Torture King" turning himself into a pincushion, as he braves being crushed against a bed of nails under the weight of a truck.

The live show is presented by Alex Zane from a secret UK location with the stunts performed in front of a jury.

Tomorrow's show sees Pyro Boy, aka Wally Glenn, turning himself into a human firework to rival Guy Fawkes' night and on Friday Goodwin will be back as he attempts to escape from a coffin buried underground and covered in three tonnes of cement.

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