Brave man beats height phobias to stand on Blackpool Tower glass floor

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Paul Maplethorpe appeared on ITV’s This Morning and received held from therapists The Speakmans

 

A brave man has conquered his phobias of tall buildings, heights and enclosed spaces by taking the lift to the top of Blackpool Tower and standing proudly on the glass floor.

Paul Maplethorpe’s everyday life was severely affected by his intense fears and left him unable to take flights abroad or simply visit multi-storey car parks for shopping.

The 49-year-old appeared on ITV’s This Morning and revealed his torment to therapists The Speakmans.

Paul explained how his mother had a fear of heights and he was also told about being pushed off a school stage when he was younger.

Nik Speakman said: “He’s always been brought up in an environment where heights are a problem. So he doesn’t know any different.

“When you’ve known if for 49 years of your life and suddenly you meet me and Eva and it’s like ‘what are you frightened of?’ It’s hard to process.”

Paul was brought to Blackpool Tower and tasked with getting to the top of the 518ft tourist attraction.

However at the first attempt to get Paul to the fifth floor he could barely make it into the lift before ‘nearly passing out’ and quickly running back out.

Paul said: “The thought of going up absolutely terrifies me.

“I cannot move physically. I’m on the floor, I’m shaking. It’s all uncontrollable. It is a daily struggle. The Speakmans are my only hope and my last hope. This is the be all and end all for me.”

Paul’s wife said: “It’s so scary for me as well. His knees buckle, the colour drains out of his face, it affects everyday life and shopping.

“Even in the car park if there’s no spaces up to the second floor he has to drive down and look for another car park.”

Paul Maplethorpe bravely standing on the Blackpool Tower glass floor
Paul Maplethorpe bravely standing on the Blackpool Tower glass floor

After two weeks of speaking to couple Nik and Eva about his fears, Paul returned to the Tower today (November 29) to tackle the challenge again and was filmed live on This Morning.

Nik asked him: “Before now what’s the highest you’ve ever been in your life?

Paul said: “I got up to the sixth floor car park once five or six years ago but other than that like, recently, first or second floor.

Nick then asked: “Right, here we are. Are you ready?”

Paul replied ‘I’m ready’ before stepping out of the elevator and receiving a hug from his wife and a round of applause.

Eva then said: “Look, there’s a glass floor there. What’s the chances? Are we doing it?”

Phil and Holly's reaction as Paul Maplethorpe stands on the Blackpool Tower glass floor
Phil and Holly’s reaction as Paul Maplethorpe stands on the Blackpool Tower glass floor

Paul then tentatively looked down before bravely stepping out onto the glass floor.

This Morning presenter Philip Schofield was left open mouthed and aghast at Paul’s phobia transformation while co-host Holly Willoughby smiled on with admiration.

Paul told The Speakmans “I feel really really good, thank you so much” and said his life has now changed “immensely”.

Paul and his wife are now planning to take a flight to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria next year.

He added: “The outlook now, I can go up and down, go to airports, get on a plane. It’s going to change it so, so much for the better.”