A NORTH-EAST magician emulated his hero Houdini when he performed a death-defying escape act dangling 80ft above the street today (Sunday).

Chris Cross was put into a straight-jacket and winched into the air by his ankles, where he remained suspended above Newcastle Castle keep.

With a crowd watching from below, he managed to get out of his restraints in just 90 seconds.

The 27-year-old performed the stunt almost 100 years after his idol Houdini did the same thing on a visit to the city in 1910.

Speaking after his daring escape, he said: "I was a bit worried about the wind and the rain, but they died down before I started, so I was quite confident I would manage it.

"I quite enjoyed it, to be honest. Although, having your whole weight hanging on your ankles like that is pretty uncomfortable."

Mr Cross prepared for the feat by carrying out the stunt at the Richmond Live family event last month when he was strapped tightly into a straight-jacket and lifted around ten feet into the air on a large farming vehicle.