Wanted for circus: Girl prepared to be knifed

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The Independent Online

An accident-prone circus knife thrower has been unable to find an assistant since two of the last three women to do the job were wounded.

Jayde Hanson, 22, blames the problem on lapses of concentration.

The Cottle and Austen circus advertised in Exeter, Devon, for a new assistant. Twelve people answered, but only one, a man, was brave enough to audition.

Jayde's problems started last year when his ex-girlfriend, who had done the job for three years, was injured for the third time by one of the 12-inch blades he uses and left. After the next assistant also left to join another circus, a Russian acrobat, Yana Rodionova, stepped in – only to resign after receiving a shoulder injury that needed three stitches.

A circus spokesman, Paul Webb, said: "There are risks in any job. If you are a builder you might fall off a ladder."