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1979: Daredevil Kidd's 80ft river jump
Stuntman Eddie Kidd has accomplished a "death-defying" motorcycle leap.

During the spectacle he crossed an 80ft gap over a 50ft sheer drop above a viaduct on a 400cc motorcycle.

Experts said a fall would almost certainly have ended in disaster.

Kidd, who is only 20 years old, completed the stunt before a stunned group of spectators, fans and press, at the River Blackwater at Maldon, Essex.

I never want to do a jump like that again
Eddie Kidd
The amazing feat has not left him thirsting for more.

"No mistakes. I never want to do a jump like that again," Kidd said once he regained his breath.

He defied gusty winds which could have thrown him off course to complete the stunt for his new movie.

Kidd prepared himself for launch by opening up the throttle of his 400cc Yamaha motorcycle.

He reached a speed of 100mph for take-off during a 400-yard run-up.

In control

The front of his motorcycle was thrown up temporarily under the pressure of the high winds - to gasps from the crowds below.

But he stayed in control and cleared the gap between the giant pillars which were once connected by a railway bridge.

Kidd landed square on the other side and despite the pressure of the stunt came away with only a minor leg injury.

His father, also Eddie, who has been his son's manager for 18 months, and mother Marjie were among the audience.

They said they were proud of his achievements and relieved it was over.

But their relief may be short lived as Kidd has said his ambition is to jump the Grand Canyon - with a parachute.

Kidd is now branching out from the world of stunts into showbiz.

He is releasing an album and appearing in his first film "Heavy Metal" which has won good reviews.

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The Kidd makes the jump
Experts said a fall would almost certainly have ended in disaster

Footage of Kidd's amazing jump

In Context
Eddie Kidd remained a top stunt rider winning the stunt bike world championship in 1993 over Robbie Knievel, son of Evel Knievel.

He jumped the Great Wall of China at Simatai in 1993.

His talent brought him parts in several movies, including as a double for Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights, Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye and Roger Moore in Bull's Eye.

But his career ended after he suffered serious head injuries in 1996 at a Hell's Angels rally in Warwickshire, when his motorbike crashed into an incline after he attempted a jump across a drag strip.

The accident left him with severely restricted co-ordination and speech.

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