‘World’s greatest daredevil’ scouts Dubai for next record-breaking stunt location

Hair-raising performer Bello Nock will shortly be doing 15 stunts in 15 minutes in Las Vegas but wants to stage an event in Dubai, a city he finds 'inspiring'.

One of the other things Bello Nock is famous for is his gravity-defying, vertical blond hair. But nothing irks him more than being asked if he was inspired by British pop duo Jedward, who have similar hairstyles. “I have been performing for 30 years,” said Nock. “I don’t know if Jedward are even 30 years old.” Jaime Puebla / The National
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DUBAI // The self-proclaimed "world's greatest daredevil" is looking for places in Dubai at which he can stage his next record-breaking stunt.
Bello Nock, 45, from the United States, is already considering a high-wire walk between the two towers at JW Marriott Marquis, on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Other plans involve either the summit of the Burj Khalifa or the helipad at the top of the Burj Al Arab.
But he said he was open to ideas from authorities in Dubai.
"I want someone in Dubai to show me what's next," said Nock. "This place is so inspiring, I want to stage my next major stunt here."
Nock is visiting the city this week to promote his ultimate stunt that he is performing in Las Vegas in August.
The event will involve 15 death-defying stunts in 15 minutes and will be filmed and streamed on the internet at a cost of US$1.99 (Dh7.3).
Nock said he hoped the next "ultimate" stunt would be in Dubai – a city that he said was not unfamiliar with superlatives.
"Go anywhere in Dubai and look around and you'll see something that someone once said couldn't be done, that's impossible," he said. "That's an example I try to follow in my own work." The ultimate stunt this year also features a lot of world-firsts.
"Some of them will be Guinness World Records, while some of them are so dangerous that Guinness wants nothing to do with it," Nock said.
"There are a lot of first-evers. Dozens of different people have been shot out of a cannon but no one has ever done it over the rotating blades of a helicopter."
Nock said he did not do what he did for money or fame but to inspire people.
"I'm the type of guy who loves bringing out the little child in a 70-year-old man," he said.
One of the other things he is famous for is his gravity-defying, vertical blond hair. But nothing irks him more than being asked if he was inspired by British pop duo Jedward, who have similar hairstyles.
"I have been performing for 30 years," said Nock. "I don't know if Jedward are even 30 years old.
"I met Matt Groening once and he told me that I was the inspiration for Bart Simpson. I was the inspiration for Johnny Bravo.
"I was the inspiration for the character Guile, from Street Fighter. I was also probably the inspiration for Jedward.
"I'm not going to say I'm proud of all of them, but my hair has inspired a lot of people."
Nock said his hairdo is not just something for the camera, either.
"I've been married 26 years. On my wedding day, my hair looked like this," he said. "I have three kids. When they were born, the first thing they saw was a guy with hair like this.
"My dad was one of the most respected men in the industry. At his funeral, my hair looked like this."
He is also quite defensive about his secret hair product. "Most people think I use a lot of hairspray but I'm a little more intelligent than most, and I'm also an engineer," he said. "If you put too much weight on any structure, it will fall. If you put too much product on your hair, it will fall."
On the first day of his two-day trip in Dubai, Nock also surprised reporters by swallowing an inflated balloon whole.
Four hours later, and he is strangely nonchalant about the inflated piece of plastic in his stomach.
"There's certain things you need to do for diet, in order to maintain an elite status," he said. "Astronauts need to do the same thing."
When asked what will happen to the balloon, he said: "You know, I don't really know.
"Nothing can contain air forever, and the balloon will probably deflate and then go out that way.
"There are some stunts I do that I don't really tend to overthink, or overanalyse."
mcroucher@thenational.ae