Derbyshire's king of head balancers John Evans tackles 100th world record

King of the head balancers John Evans will be crowning three decades of amazing achievements by attempting his 100th world record.

Monday, 21st March 2022, 12:58 pm

The Ilkeston grandad who has raised more than £250,000 for charity through his fantastic feats, will bear a colossal crown on his bonce.

John will unveil the handmade creation at his home town’s Rutland Sports Park on Sunday, March 27, with lifts at approximately 12.30pm and 1.30pm. He said: “I am excited about it...I know I can do it and I know that I’m going have a good crowd of press and photographers there which I really enjoy.”

His wooden prop weighs in at nearly 90 kilos and was made by John. He said: “The crown is about 4ft 6ins wide and 50ins high but I’ve got a big yoga ball to put in the middle and give it the dome of a crown which makes it nearly 6ft tall."

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John Evans made headlines around the world for balancing a Mini car.

The world record attempt on Mother’s Day comes just three days before John’s 75th birthday and coincides with his 54th wedding anniversary. He chose the crown to symbolise his reign as king of the head balancers.

John said: ”I decided to do it before I knew it was the Queen’s jubilee – it was a terrific stroke of luck. Maybe I could get some celebrity parties, perhaps the Queen could book me as I’m fairly sure she is going to know about it!”

As well as balancing the massive crown on his head, John is aiming to raise money for charities that support the blind and partially sighted – a cause which is close to his heart.

He lost an eye when he was seven after he was accidentally shot by his older brother in an air rifle accident. John said: “Nothing was said about it and I was banned from ever talking about it because of my brother getting into trouble.”

John developed a knack for head balancing when he worked on a building site after leaving school. Faced with having to carry bricks up a ladder to supply two workmates, he discovered the solution using a piece of floorboard perched on top of his head. He said: “I devised a way in which I could put 12 bricks on my head and I got used to balancing them without even touching them...I built it up to 32 bricks.”

His head-balancing skills stood him in good stead when he was asked to do his first charity event in the Nineties. He said: “I started with bricks, finished with washing machines and over the years I’ve balanced everything you could think of.”

John cashed in two endowment policies to buy transport and other items for his charity shows which have included balancing a girl in a canoe, 1710 fresh eggs, fridges, beds, car tyres and a 120-kilo golf cart.

He is most famous for balancing a Mini car on his head. John said: “It was 166 kilo, 10ft long and 5ft wide and I had to get perfect centre position, lift if off the floor, walk ten feet and let go for ten seconds...on one TV show I did it for 33 seconds. I always had to save enough energy and strength to walk back with it...I could never throw it off because I don’t think I would have been able to do so without me being underneath. It was very dangerous.”

The Mini car stunt earned John a booking on the 40th anniversary edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in America and bookings in China, Singapore, Shanghai, Chile, America and Taiwan.

Following pleas from his family, John, who has angina, asthma and diabetes, retired his car stunt before the Covid pandemic. But he still lifts up to 100 kilos and shows no desire to want to throw in the towel just yet. “It’s my enthusiasm and determination that drives me on to do these things,” he said. “I like to feel like I’m an inspiration to people. If you want to try and you've got it in you, you can do it.”

To sponsor John in his mission to raise money for blind and partially sighted charities, go to