Every locker needs a pin-up. Mine is Jem Stansfield. The man is a genius, and a very handsome one at that.
He’s barely 40, but he has the brain to work out how to build the most incredible machines and the skill in his hands to do it himself. He’s also a natural communicator, with a boyish charm (aided by slightly dishevelled hair and twinkling blue eyes) and an energetic frame which can accurately be described as 6ft-something of pure muscle. I met him in green room during the Bang roadshow in Manchester, and struggled to string words together – I’m a 34 year-old Dr of Physics, but he reduced me to a gibbering idiot. Pathetic. An engineer has never had that effect on me before, or since.
I’ve seen him scale a wall using his vacuum gloves and suck willing volunteers up a vacuum elevator. I’ve wondered at his coffee-powered car and 360° rocket-powered swing. The weekend before last at the Bang roadshow in Sheffield, he beat Dallas in the hamster-wheel-colleague-lifting challenge, set off some spectacular explosions, and jokingly explained the scientific principles behind it all like he was regaling some tale or other down the pub. Last Friday, I watched episode 7 of the current Bang series and literally cheered him on as he took his pedal-powered aeroplane onto the runway… and gasped as he took flight.
Oh, Jem. What’s not to like?