Jonathan Goodwin accident: what partner Amanda Abbington said about BGT star’s TV stunt gone wrong on Lorraine

The stuntman was left paralysed after the accident - but what happened to him?

(Photo: ITV)(Photo: ITV)
(Photo: ITV)

Actor Amanda Abbington has said she and her fiance - former Britain’s Got Talent star Jonathan Goodwin - are “closer and tighter than ever” after the daredevil was left paralysed by an accident during an escape stunt.

Earlier this week, Abbington revealed the escapologist fiance nearly died twice after a daring trick went awry, paralysing him for life.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine during the couple’s first TV interview together, Abbington said: “We just have this unspoken thing that we have and every day is a joy, and it’s just fun. We have the best time.”

“We said the other day we are going to be the people that say ‘yes’, if anything happens and it’s a new adventure we’ll just go ‘yes’ because life’s too short.”

“That’s what I’ve realised through all of this. Just be in the moment and grab it with both hands because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What happened to Jonathan Goodwin?

Goodwin was rehearsing a stunt for America’s Got Talent: Extreme in October 2021 when he suffered the near-fatal accident.

He was attempting to escape from a straight jacket while dangling 30 feet in the air between two suspended cars, a stunt he had invented himself.

But Abbington said the timing was off, and that the cars were released too soon, crushing Goodwin between them as they caught fire.

Speaking on the Out To Lunch podcast with Jay Rayner, the Sherlock star said: “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.”

Abbington revealed Goodwin “nearly died again” on the operating table, and now he’s paralysed and “in a wheelchair”.

She added: “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 spent four months in hospital.

(Photo: ITV)(Photo: ITV)
(Photo: ITV)

Has he retired?

Goodwin, who appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 201,9 has understandably retired from escapology, but Abbington explained he has remained “positive and upbeat and so strong”, despite the life-altering injuries.

“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.”

Abbington also said the stuntman left her a voicemail before his surgery, saying that there was a 50% chance he wouldn't make it, and that he told her he loved her and thanked her for spending the final few months of his life with him.

The pair 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 they spent hours on the phone at the start of their relationship, before he travelled to Vienna to meet her in person for the first time.

Goodwin proposed to the actress within half an hour of meeting her, and the couple plan to marry this summer.

Abbington told Lorraine: “He’s a total inspiration to me. He’s an idiot – but I’m a wally so it’s fine.”

What did Goodwin do on Britain’s Got Talent?

Goodwin’s run on the 2019 series of Britain’s Got Talent was one of the more memorable appearances in recent years.

On one show, the daredevil terrified the judges with a concept he said his daughter came up with - escaping from a box that was completely filled with gravel.

As time passed and he failed to emerge, health and safety personnel approached the box, then stood back as he abruptly exited.

He had made it to the series final with one of the show’s “most dangerous” acts a week earlier.

He was blindfolded and faced crossbow bolts, avoiding the projectiles and blocking one with a picture of David Walliams.

The performance was called “the most dangerous act” by show hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

What has he said?

Goodwin told presenter Lorraine Kelly: “I’m not down about it. I’m doing as well as I can be. It was pretty gnarly. It sounds very dramatic sitting here, but I nearly died.”

He added: “I saved my life because I fell upside down, head first to the ground, but I didn’t hit my head.”

Goodwin said that after the accident he told Abbington she could end their relationship.

He said: “I did say ‘You have a get-out-of-jail-free card – if you want to walk away, then I completely understand’, and she told me not to be so stupid and that was that.”