Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Tue, 3 May 2022, 12:01 am
Actress Amanda Abbington has said her escapologist fiance Jonathan Goodwin nearly died twice after a dangerous stunt went wrong, leaving him paralysed for life.
The former stuntman and Britain’s Got Talent contestant was performing a stunt he devised where he would escape from a straight jacket while being hung upside down 30 feet in the air in between two suspended cars.
However, Abbington explained that the timing was misjudged and the cars were released too early, causing him to be crushed between them as they caught on fire – leading to horrific injuries.
The 48-year-old Sherlock star told the Out To Lunch podcast with Jay Rayner: “He fell 30 feet and lost a kidney, broke both shoulder blades, shattered both legs.
“Third degree burns, broke his spine and severed his spinal cord and, nearly died. And then on the operating table, he nearly died again.”
She added: “He’s paralysed now he’s in a wheelchair. Unless there’s a kind of stem cell surgery or that thing that Elon Musk is designing with the little chip, he’ll be like that forever.”
Goodwin, who featured on the 2019 season of Britain’s Got Talent, has now retired from escapology.
Despite the life-altering injuries, Abbington explained he has remained “positive and upbeat and so strong”.
“His courage and his strength is something that I just aspire to be like,” she said.
“He’s just incredible, honestly, like so happy, just like a very happy, positive human being, just liquid sunshine. He’s amazing.”
The actress also revealed the stuntman had sent her a voicemail before his surgery explaining that there was a 50% chance he would not make it, so he told her he loved her and thanked her for the last couple of months of his life with her.
The couple had previously been friends on social media for around 10 years, with Abbington following his content as her son Joe thought his act was “amazing”.
She explained that they connected after she split with fellow Sherlock actor Martin Freeman and separated from another partner – and when Goodwin had divorced from his wife.
Abbington revealed that at the beginning of their relationship, they spent hours talking on the phone every day before he flew to Vienna to meet her in person for the first time.
The actress said that within half an hour of meeting, Goodwin proposed and the couple plan to marry this summer.
Out To Lunch with Jay Rayner is available on all major podcast platforms.