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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
BBC film's rooftop stunts 'real'
David Belle
David Belle leaps a 23-foot gap between buildings
A series of spectacular rooftop stunts in a new BBC promotional film are all genuine, the corporation has revealed.

The short film Rush Hour, which is being broadcast several times a day on BBC One, shows Frenchman David Belle leaping from one London rooftop to another.

The stuntman finally climbs in at a window to settle down and watch BBC One.

David Belle
David Belle trained in the treetops of Normandy
At one point in his journey the 28-year-old leaps a 23-foot gap between two buildings 60 feet up.

He also performs a handstand on a railing 120 feet above a busy street, and in a manoeuvre called "the spider" he edges up a building by bracing himself between wall buttresses.

The BBC said no computer graphics or post-production enhancements were used to create the film, which was made by advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers.

It has been made into three versions with lengths of 30, 60 and 90 seconds.

Have you seen this film? What did you think of it? Send us your views by e-mailing entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Belle did not use any safety wires, though some crash mats were in place out of the view of cameras.

The Frenchman is a pioneer of a new "extreme sport" called Le Parkour.

He claims to have developed his techniques as a teenager, climbing trees in Normandy - and said he has never had an accident.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "It's been very well received and people seem to have been excited by it.

"It's something that seems to have captured people's imagination, and they're talking about it."

David Belle
Belle: A pioneer of "extreme sport" Le Parkour

Rush Hour has been introduced soon after a series of new BBC presentation clips or "idents", which have replaced the image of a balloon bearing the image of a globe.

The globe theme had been used in various ways since the channel launched in 1964.

The new clips feature people dressed in red - the colour of the channel's logo - in front of some of the UK's most stunning urban and natural settings.

One ident features two people performing a spectacular Brazilian dance in front of the London skyline.

Others show salsa dancers filmed in Hertfordshire and ballet dancers on the Cornish coast.

BBC One Controller Lorraine Heggessey said the new clips were intended to capture "the new spirit" of BBC One and reflect its new, dynamic identity.

See also:

19 Apr 02 | Reviews
Rush Hour: Your views
19 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
The art of Le Parkour
26 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Dancers replace BBC One globe
26 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
In pictures: History of BBC One globes
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
BBC balloon could be grounded
28 Jul 99 | UK
Going to extremes
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