Sword swallower who reached Britain's Got Talent final has a new job with Northamptonshire's Covid jab army

Circus star Helmut's putting his skills with sharp objects to good use during entertainment industry shutdown

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 9:11 am
Updated Thursday, 9th September 2021, 9:12 am

When this chap gives you a Covid-19 jab and says it's only a tiny scratch, he really means it!

Helmut Kirchmeier joined Northamptonshire' s Jab Army after having to put his proper job on hold during the pandemic... as a SWORD SWALLOWER.

Helmut, who lives in Kingsthorpe, is better known as Hannibal Hellmuerto, part of the Circus of Horrors troupe which wowed Britain's Got Talent judges a few years back.


The Circus — along with the rest of the entertainment industry — had to put everything on hold in March 2020.

So Helmut decided to put all his experience with sharp objects to good use.

He said: “I applied to join the NHS vaccination programme training scheme which took five months to complete.

"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.


"Now I am proud to be working with the amazing team of dedicated people at the Moulton Park vaccination centre as a vaccinator."

The Circus of Horrors re-opened for a few big-top shows in the summer but lockdowns stopped its festival and theatre dates going ahead.

A few rescheduled shows with socially-distanced audiences did go ahead from May this year but the troupe hopes to finally ramp things up starting with shows at the Isle of Wight Festival next weekend and then a marathon UK tour taking in dates from Aberdeen to Redruth.

The tour runs until March 2022 and includes visits to Wellingborough's Castle Theatre and Kettering Lighthouse in the New Year. But Hannibal will still be spending any spare time helping the vaccination cause.


Hannibal added: “I pick up any vaccination shifts available when I'm not performing with the Circus of Horrors.

“I love doing the live shows but with long gaps between performances I had time on my hands and thought about what could I do to help prevent people from getting ill.

"At the same time, it helps the entertainment industry in general by getting as many people vaccinated as possible and allowing festivals and full scale tours to go ahead again, I feel we all have to do our bit to get out of this together.

More than a million Covid jabs have been delivered in Northamptonshire and Anna Dorothy, deputy director of the Northamptonshire vaccination programme, added: “We’re delighted to have Helmut as part of our fantastic team.

"On behalf of the whole vaccination programme I’d like extend a huge thank-you for the incredible efforts of all of our staff and volunteers working day in, day out across the county.

“Everyone aged 16 and over is now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine so if you’ve not yet had yours, you can find details of local drop-in sessions online.

"This week we are running our very first drop-ins for 16- and 17-year-olds at the vaccination centre with the next one taking place on Thursday (September 9) between 5.30pm and 8pm and further sessions likely to be announced next week.”