Shard climber George King open up about his new Channel 4 series Adrenaline Addicts

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Urban free climber George King made headlines when he risked his life by scaling the UK's tallest building The Shard without safety equipment in 2019.

George was later sentenced to six months in prison after a civil lawsuit was brought against him for breaching an injunction imposed by the building's owners which prevented people from climbing it.

But he has not been put off by his jail time and has continued to pursue his passion for free climbing.

This year he free climbed 280ft to the top of world's tallest climbing wall, the CopenHill wall in Denmark and took his life in his hands when he scaled one of Europe's highest skyscrapers in Barcelona without safety equipment.

Now in Adrenaline Addicts, a new Channel 4 digital series, George travels across the UK to meet others like him who do extreme sports such as bare knuckle boxing, base jumping and cliff jumping.

George with Ricardo Franco

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George takes a look inside the minds of other ‘adrenaline addicts’, and seeks to understand their attitude to risk-taking, as well as his own.

In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, George told how he felt comradery with people he met as they shared his ability to "control fear" and "live in the moment".

In the first episode George met bare knuckle boxing featherweight champion, Rico Franco, who nearly died as a result of bowel disease, and even sparred with him.

George King climbed The Shard in 2019

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After being hospitalised he was fitted with a stoma bag the remarkable 28-year-old has returned to the ring will be defending his title against Jimmy Sweeney next month for the first time since he took the belt.

In the episode Ricardo talked to George about how he feels compelled to fight and the thrill he gets from it as well as his health issues.

George said he he was inspired by his meeting with Ricardo and saw strong similarities between himself and the boxer.

He said: "I saw a man who had gone to death's door and came out the other end. He approached death as like something that is around the corner, as a result of what he has gone trough he lives with an added drive to life.

"It is warrior mode, stepping into the prospect of death because your goal demands it. That was the similarity I found with Ricardo.

Tim Howell base jumping

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"Ricardo was really special, there is a lot of stigma with bare knuckle boxing, some think it is animalistic and barbaric but with Ricardo you saw light.

"He is extremely emotionally intelligent when it comes to controlling fear and utilising fear.

"He embolised everything a Spartan warrior is. It was a privilege to be part of his life. he is a hero."

George also met a group of cliff jumpers, who spend their downtime jumping off buildings, bridges and cliffs into the water below.

He said: "The cliff jumpers are driven by freedom, everything I do in my life I am always trying to seek freedom. I saw that in cliff jumping people.

George met cliff jumpers for the series

"They are great people, it is nice to find people in this world who are like you. I found someone face-to-face who has a unique way of thinking.

"The cliff jumping community is really positive. They are not reckless at all, they are masters of mitigating risk."

In another episode George meets Tim Howell, an ex-Royal Marine Commando who has travelled all over the world to do base jumps and wingsuit flying.

He accompanies Tim before he did an early morning jump from a cliff top in the Peak District.

George said of his meeting with Tim: "What I do with free solo is silent tension, it is silent drawn out tension. It is short, sharp fast sensory overload. That is the similarity I saw between me and Tim Howell.

"One half step too late he wouldn't make it. One step too early and he wouldn't make it. The margins for error are too small.

George said Channel 4 viewed Adrenaline Addicts as a pilot series and are considering giving him a second series depending on its success.

He is grateful for the opportunity the broadcaster has given him and hopes the series has a second outing.

George travelled across the UK to meet others like him who do extreme sports

George said: "It gave me an opportunity to learn how to be a presenter, I enjoyed it massively. I enjoyed questioning people and learning from them – getting to know how their mind works and makes it tick.

"I am so grateful that Channel 4 has given me the opportunity to do this series."

Discussing why he thinks he and others do extreme sports, George said: "It makes you feel alive. It puts everything into perspective.

"I think all the passion of all these people is great. I think life is short and that one should explore passions. I think passion is the meaning of life.

"There is no thought when you are climbing a building, it really grounds you to the moment. It just makes you aware of the single moment – it is feeling alive.

"Once you have experienced something that you can never go back. Once you do it once, you become adrenaline addicts."

The series is available on Channel 4’s YouTube and Facebook accounts.

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