WORLD-RENOWNED sword swallower El Lurchio has taken a rather unusual career step – by teaching famous magician David Blaine how to regurgitate frogs.
El Lurchio, whose real name is Ian Brown, was called in to help David learn his new trick for TV show Beyond Magic.
Ian, 33, from Fareham, was headhunted for the role and was flown to America so that he could teach the magician, illusionist and endurance artist face-to-face.
Ian, who found fame swallowing swords on Britain’s Got Talent and performing with touring show Circus of Horrors, said: ‘The production team was tasked with finding someone who could swallow frogs and regurgitate them.
‘It turns out that I am one of the only people in the world who can do it. It was madness.’
The stunt was performed in America, where rules about swallowing fish and frogs are not as strict as the UK. It follows David swallowing a fish in his last series and it was inspired by a magician called Mac Norton, dubbed the Human Aquarium, who used to swallow fish and frogs and perform ‘water spouting’ in the early 1900s.
Ian is renowned for his ‘water spouting’ which sees him swallow litres of water and bring it back up on command, so was ideal for the trick.
He said: ‘There’s no magic. It is simply swallowing a frog and bringing it back up. It’s like sword swallowing as when the frog is far enough down you don’t feel it.
‘But when the frog is in your mouth you can feel its slimy belly and you can feels its legs kicking on your oesophagus.
‘The frogs are not hurt, as you have to drink a lot of water and a mix of bicarbonate so that they are just going into neutral water. They are absolute fine afterwards.’
Ian said frogs, which are about two inches in length, are not the only thing he can regurgitate.
He says that as long as the item can float, he can bring it back up.
‘I have brought up 49 bingo balls, 50 hazelnuts in their shells, bouncy balls,’ he said.
‘But I don’t do fish as they are hard as they are not near the surface.’
Ian also made a sword for David, with a frog pattern, to use in his swallowing tricks.
He said: ‘David was a good laugh. It was great fun working with him.’
Beyond Magic has aired in America, and will be shown on Channel 4 on December 12 at 9pm.