Talent Recap

Sword Swallowing ‘BGT’ Finalist Helmut Kirchmeier Joins “Jab Army” to Vaccinate Against Covid-19

Circus of Horrors HannibalMATT CARDY, GETTY IMAGES

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On series five of Britain’s Got Talent, The Circus of Horrors shocked the world with their extreme act. Making it all the way to the BGT Semifinals, the circus group’s stunts catapulted their career on the performance scene. However, things took a dramatic turn during the Covid-19 pandemic. One group member in particular, decided to put his career on hold to help those in need.

Group member Helmut Kirchmeier, better known as Hannibal Hellmuerto joined Northamptonshire’s Jab Army after putting his sword swallowing talents on hold. Since March of 2020, the circus was forced to cease all live performances. It was after this time that Hannibal put all his experience with sharp objects to good use.

“I applied to join the NHS vaccination programme training scheme which took five months to complete,” he said. “With my previous qualifications as a body piercer I already knew how to work in a clinical environment and a lot of the health and safety procedures so this was a good please to start.”

Hannibal is now proud to be working with the amazing team of dedicated people at the Moulton Park Centre as a vaccinator.

The Circus of Horrors have reschedules a few socially-distanced shows from May of this year. However, the troupe hope to start things up again full force at the Isle of Wight Festival next weekend. From there, the act will embark on a marathon U.K. tour until March 2022. The shows include visits to Wellingborough’s Castle Theatre and Kettering Lighthouse in the New Year. But for now, Hannibal will be spending his spare time helping the vaccination cause.

Hannibal and The Circus of Horrors on ‘BGT’


The extreme circus group took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage during series five. The Circus of Horrors became the only circus act to reach the finals of the show. Their audition consisted of various stunts such as hanging by their hair, performing on a German Wheel, fire tricks, and of course, sword swallowing. Judges David Hasselhoff, Amanda Holden, and Michael McIntyre all voted yes, sending them to the next round.

Their Semifinals performance included even more stunts. At this stage, the group showcased knife throwing, aerial chains, shooting a bow and arrow, and fire breathing. Despite their efforts, they were eliminated after this round, taking sixth place in the competition.

After BGT, The Circus of Horrors made a variety of television appearances. They have also embarked on a number of various tours since the early 2000s. Impressively, the troupe holds numerous Guinness World Records, including most swords swallowed in one minute. I’m sure Hannibal had a little something to do with that.

Overall, the work he is doing in concert with the NHS is more than commendable. Thanks to people like him, we are one step closer to healthy and safe reopenings to live performances.

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