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May 16, 2008

Comments

Ben Bellman.
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/wellbeing/story/0,,2061385,00.html

Hi James. I didn't search for him online when writing this because I was afraid this would happen: when I compare the voice I gave him here to the one in that article I feel like I've done him a major dis-service. Argh.

It doesn't read like a disservice at all. Thanks for sharing the story, Rod.

thanks for writing this, so many people in london don't care anymore. You're a saint :)

I stumbled across this write-up by chance today and feel deeply saddened. I knew Ben. We dated for a few months nearly 10 years ago. He was really quite incredible. As well as the stunts, he also wrote beautifully. I remember being impressed by an article he wrote for 'TimeOut' (where he was a resident events reporter) about the brutal killings of sharks in China for the sake of 'Shark fin soup'. He was also a pretty good DJ and a total player with a swarm of gorgeous girls angling for his attention :-). From what I remember he did live and love life in the fast lane though and was always off on his suped-up motorbike to some fencing/martial arts class or to DJ at some celebs party, he had little fear of anything, which I guess made him such a good stunt man, one definitely deserving of an Oscar nomination. I have no way of contacting him but I really wish him all the best. Nikki

I met ben a couple of times ten years ago or there abouts- once was skydiving in Spain at the empuria brava dropzone another was at a Mounted combat meeting some where up near Reading- he made a good/memorable impression- a nice guy to be around i felt- I had heard about his misfortune through working in stunts- I do wish him peace and progress- buichos le dia

i have just met ben, we were on the 22 bus on the kings road, he asked if the stop was worlds end, and i offered to walk him down there...
he seems like a gentle soul and i would gladly walk with him anywhere he needed to go...


Gosh I just met Ben today near Covent Garden. He asked me to help him find the Equity building and regaled me with stories of his past while we walked there. Initially I was incredibly cynical about his stories but there was definitely something which made me trust him and I'm glad I did!

Jeez! Sometimes i dispair with the London 'Attitude', i do hope things change soon. It gets me down aswell!

I work in a store in central London. Ben pops in once or twice a week. He is a really good guy. A lot of people don't believe a word he says although through a bit of research I have found it all to be true! I have seen customers give him strange looks and some even laughing. It's disgusting.

It's heartening that everyone who comments on Ben says what a pleasant person he is.

Ben comes into our salon everyday and we have seen great progress. He is slowly remembering our faces and things about us. It is truly amazing that a human body can fall 2 miles from the sky and survive! We always explain to our clients who are a little apprehensive at first when he walks in. He wrote on a piece of paper today his name and number and address for us to visit him and his mother. He is a very nice man with a good heart!

I knew Ben when we were only children. We went to Hill House together. Even at 7 or 8 years old he was hanging off the railings of the stairs, dressed as Spiderman. I just looked him up today on the internet for the first time in years. The last time I checked he was a DJ. What moving comments from everyone.

Hi there, I'm sitting with Ben reading these comments out to him, as we just did a search for his name and this article came up, and it's amazing that so many people who know or have met Ben have commented afterwards. What is heartening is the positive and kind reaction people have recounted on meeting Ben in public spaces. Ben is a really special person and it's a testament to his personality and determination that he has continued to develop well beyond the 5 or 6 years the doctors said he would. Every time I see him he has a new interest or a increased understanding of an existing one, like ballet which he adores.
Ben says 'I'm not angry' because he isn't, he's not bitter, he genuinely loves life, he loves people, he loves the world and everything in it. One day I will help him realise his dream of becoming a fight director.
He's now giving my wife an impromptu yoga lesson but here's his comment -

'I was a stuntman, I'm vaguely recovering, I do sport everyday, thank you for writing about me'
BB.

Nothing is impossible, only if we try our best to do.

My Fiancée works at a support centre which Ben attends once a week.
I've met him several times.
I don't know him massively well, but what I do know is that he would never knowingly do harm to another living thing.
A rare quality indeed.


What an amazing article and so well written.

I know Ben through "Headway" Shoreditch.

My son Adrian attends there as a volunteer from Mon- Weds every week as he had a brain injury about 11 yrs ago.

Ben is a lovely guy with so much talent and I hope he has lots of friends and family to support him after his accident.

God bless all at "Headway"- they are amazing people

Angela (Adrian's Mum)

Interesting post. There really are times when we seem not to care a thing about the world and then suddenly we are humbled. Ben sounds like a good man. I wish him well.

I met Ben on Saturday in Bristol; he asked for directions to get back to the coach station from the other side of the centre but we ended up walking together as his vision and walking weren’t good. As we made our way across town he chatted about himself (punctuated by frequent verbal tics of “I’m not angry” and “are you very scared of me?”) and asked me questions about all kinds of things - my favourite film stars, musicians, animals, was I interested in languages. The layers of what he said built up into the extraordinary story that is told above. He had come to Bristol for a day trip to visit the Zoo and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where he used to teach sword fighting. In fact, everything we talked about he would come out with something that seemed too fantastical to be true – I mentioned that I had Olympic tickets to see the Sabre fighting – he said he had too because he used to be a champion Sabre fighter. We talked about my boyfriend liking motorbikes – he used to ride a sports bike just like his. We talked about Will Smith being a rapper and an actor – and he said he used to be a DJ that put out a record once. And then the stuntman Oscar stuff seemed way out there – but I didn’t question it – because having met him it seemed completely consistent with his energy, enthusiasm and, brutal to say, injuries. The only reason I found this post is because my boyfriend didn’t believe that the guy could be telling the truth when I got home so, without knowing his name, I did a google search and found this post. At which point I promptly burst into tears. I can’t believe how lucky he is to be alive.

I met him today in Starbucks next to Victoria Station. It was exactly the same story - he told me that he used to be a stuntman, had an Oscar nomination and had an accident in Spain. He is still keen to see the world - Russia (Saint Petersburg), Poland, everywhere... and everything is beautiful for him :)

At the end strange thing happened - he said that I think he is stupid... which wasn't true of course... maybe I looked tired after long trip... but anyway - short after he disappeared.

Meeting him really made my day. Thank you

I used to know Ben pre accident and stunt career. I played ultimate frisbee with him in North London for number of years. He was a highly gifted player with remarkable hand-eye coordination. One thing he doesn't seem to have mentioned to anyone are his skills as a juggler.

He did work as a music journalist (Time Out amongst others) and DJ. A very nice bloke and I am deeply saddened to hear of his predicament. If anyone reading this meets him again please mention ultimate frisbee to him and let him know I wish him all the best in his recovery.

JOhnP
ps: the record he had a minor hit with is here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiXieePZlXo
and a closer look at the credits on the record:
http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=60599

I had the pleasure of meeting Ben yesterday. We were standing at a temporary bus stop on Kings Road. We were both waiting for Bus 11 to Victoria. He told me he used to be a stuntman, asked who my favourite actors were (Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet) and was pleased when I told him about my love of horses. I think he was looking for some company. He kept asking me if I was scared of him and kept saying he wouldn't hurt me. I felt quite comfortable in his presence as we chatted away.

I wish him the very best.

I hope that this is the right 'Ben' I'm addressing, but if ever I knew a man called Ben, it was a dear friend on mine called Benedict Titus Bellman. As he was growing up - I knew that one day he would become a stunt man, plain and simple.

Ben was my very best friend, he knew that and I knew that.

One day in Knightsbridge the next in a boarding school in a little town in Switzerland called Glion, where we planned an escape route across the Alps. His parents were Rosemary and Geoffery.

Is it this Ben with whom I used to go sliding down the stairs on a matress at 44 South Eaton Place? Is it this Ben who, I think it must have been his 8th or 9th birthday, fired an arrow straight through his window and into the garden beyond...?

From what I understand, having tried to track you down on the Internet you've had a bit of an accident and aren't well. I'm deeply saddened to hear that. We have many years to catch up on.

If it's you please get in contact of ask one of your friends or family to help you to do so.

simonnicol at gmail dot com :)

I met Ben in Starbucks next to Victoria station on the Monday just passed, and although I was apprehensive at first me and my friend ended up chatting to him for about an hour. He was so kind hearted and had done so many amazing things in his life, I was so inspired. After talking about all the things he had done he asked us what we did, and we didn't really have much to say other than we went to University and had a job on the side, he has really made me think more about life and how much there is out there, so I am going to go and do it. Thank you Ben, for making me make the most of life again.

I was continually hearing about this guy who turned up at the park and sounded very similar to Ben Bellman, one of the first ultimate players I remember some twenty years back.

Finally met him today - he had just about enough of the facial shape for me to confirm it was Ben. I knew about the "I'm not angry" tic, so that was no issue. There was a hint of recognition, but his memory is still poor. He clearly remembers or has memory of ultimate as a sport - though he had no memory of his own skill at the game.

He is not too hard to talk to; obviously he cannot follow scattered threads of conversation, and he will jump and restart topics as he sees fit. But in a world where the social mask is important, it is increasingly uncomfortable to be around mental disability.

I guess subsequent meetings will yield more form this remarkable man.

Just met this guy on the 38 bus out of Victoria. What an amazing guy! Similarly, feel a little ashamed at my own cynicism.

I've just met Ben today at Foyles. We had a long chat and looked at a book on horses together. Given the severity of the accident he had it's a miracle he's alive. If you meet him take time to talk to him, he's a lovely man. I'm going to watch Die Another Day tonight to see his fight scene!

I was in London yesterday and Ben came into the hair salon, he seems an amazing person, so positive after all that has happened!! A great quality to have!

I met this man today! What a lovely man. We spoke for 10 minutes or so before he went to his personal training session. So sad to hear his story and feel terrible for doubting some of his stories. It's wonderful to hear that so many other people have had the chance to meet him and taken the time to listen.

Ben came into the store I work in Victoria today... i haven't stopped thinking about him since. a lovely passionate and inspiring man.

Back in April 2011 I travelled to London from Bristol with my friend for the London Marathon. We were in Starbucks by Victoria Station when Ben; asked if he was in the que. My friend a teacher for children with special needs instantly helped and began to engage in conversation. Ben said he was once a teacher at Bristol Old Vic. When I told him I was a Physiotherapist he told of us of his accident, how he was a stuntman nominated for an oscar, the films he was in, how he was an athlete sponsored by Nike, a writer for music magazines and a DJ. Ben repeatedly told us 'I'm not angry, I'm happy'. I (ashamedly now) was a lot more wary than my friend. We grabbed our coffee and left. But it bothered me all day long, so later I googled Ben Stuntman Accident. And it was all true. I was disgusted with myself. Meeting Ben truely changed my life and my outlook on a lot of things. I've told so many people about meeting this amazing man that quite frankly I was too afraid of to believe. I wish Ben all the success in the world. He should be an inspiration to us all. x

I have heard a lot of this guy from my friend who had a chance meeting with Ben. I now feel compelled to meet him.

I think I will get the opportunity because my friend is a film maker, and happens to be making a documentary in the centre where Ben goes daily 'Headway'.

I set her the challenge to make a small film/documentary about Ben so I could then meet what sounds like a BFG (Big friendly giant) and hear his extraordinary stories.

I met Ben in the Starbucks in Victoria. He was amazing, and I am only sorry that I was agitated about other things at the time, and was not able to talk to him for longer. What a wonderful, inspirational man.
I hope this is okay, but I have written on my own blog about my meeting with Ben, and I have provided a link to this page, because I think people should hear his story and learn about the joy he brings to others http://onebillionstars.blogspot.co.uk/ xxx

[Sarah's post is at http://onebillionstars.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/judge-not-lest-ye-be-judged.html ]

I am sitting at my desk with my friend Danielle and we both feel honoured to say that we too met the amazing Ben yesterday. He has started swimming with us at a club for swimmers with disabilities and both of us knew upon meeting him what an incredible person he is. I am so delighted that Ben has touched so many people's lives, for since meeting him, I too feel incredibly lucky to meet such a pure and inspirational human. I now feel incredibly privileged that i might get to see him again next Monday in the pool. He is a brilliant swimmer.
Emily

Hi me and Ben have just read through all the comments and the blog. We are currently at Headway and Ben has made amazing progress so far. Whilst reading all your comments Ben has truly been touched by them and would like to thank you all for your lovely messages and kind words. If you would like to email Ben and get in touch with him please contact:

benbellman@btinternet.com

Thank you,
BB

We just had the honour of meeting Ben today in Bristol and walked with him to Temple Meads Station, what an amazing guy and a true inspiration, he is obviously still an adventurer

I have just had the honour of meeting Ben in Starbucks at Victoria. After we helped him get seated he told us of his adventures in his life as a stunt man and his accident. Although we only spoke for an hour or so, he seemed such a warm person. Very inspiring man.

My boyfriend and I and our 2 young children + dog, met Ben, this morning at the Serpentine Pavillion, Hyde Park.
Ben was sitting at the table next to us, and commented straight away on our dog. He said he loved animals. I told him that she was a Schnauzer, he promptly told me she was German and he loved Germans.
Ben started to talk about his accident and then about all the films he had been in.
He was wearing a Die Another Day fleece and a Nike teeshirt. He was also sporting a Nike bag.
He told me he had been sponsored by Nike and still really loved sport.
He also talked about how much he loved Ballet and Reading (currently reading The Count of Monty Cristo, which he also was a Stunt man in and taught Guy Pearce to sword fight).
He asked if we had been to Russia? Our answer was 'no'. He said we should go.
Ben had a lovely glint in his eye and his whole face lit up every time he said something.
He was a little worried that I could be frightened of him but I kept on reassuring him that I was not.
When we left the Serpentine, I promptly googled Ben and everything he said was true and more.
I can not believe that this man, who seems to have been supremely talented in absolutely every walk of life, is also so positive about what's happened to him. I also can't believe, after having ready everyone else's posts, just how much Ben gets about and how he touches so many people's lives.
If you are reading this Ben, I think you are amazing and a total inspiration.

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