1. ITV Report

Violinist is Superhuman

Ben Lee Photo:

Thirty two year old violinist Ben Lee has been declared ‘the world’s fastest Superhuman’ by the Discovery Channel, in its televised search for the fastest human on earth.

In the show ‘Superhuman Showdown’, Ben beat his own world record to play ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’ at an average of 15 notes per second, causing judges and scientists to unanimously vote him the fastest Superhuman.

Ben Lee

Ben, who's from Eastbourne in Sussex, was tested for speed against world base race champion Frode Johannessen, who can ‘fly’ unassisted at 170pm, **speed shooter Jerry Miculek who can fire eight rounds on four targets in 1.06 seconds, head spinner Aicho Ono who can perform 135 head spins in one minute without experiencing dizziness and speed eater Pete Czerwinski who can eat a 12 inch pizza in 34 seconds.

Each contestant, specially selected from hundreds of fast performing humans around the world, was measured for speed in a controlled environment by scientists including former Olympic pentathlete Professor Greg Whyte from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Whyte said: “Through dedicated and long term practice, Ben is able to devote larger portions of his brain to a task. Ben bows with his right hand, which means that his left cortex should utilised more than his right. However, with the focus and control he uses with his left hand, Ben has developed a greater proportion of his right cortex, giving him powerful dexterity and the ability to play at 810 notes per minute.”

It is because of this that Ben has become the first person to break the ‘Magic Minute’ barrier which most professionals said could not be done. His record for playing Flight of the Bumblebee note perfect on the electric violin is 58.05 seconds

As a rock violin musician, Ben plays as part of FUSE, the electric violin duo which also features Linzi Stoppard, the daughter-in-law of playwright Tom Stoppard. FUSE’s new single ‘Light Up The Fuse’ is out in December.

Ben has played the violin since the age of 5, and won The Children’s Channel competition aged 11 on Sky TV. At 16 he was awarded Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Composer Of The Year.

Ben Lee said: “I’ve been challenging myself to play as fast as I can since I was five years old. It wasn’t until I had a serious bike accident and nearly lost the ability to play that Linzi, my music partner, challenged me to enter the Guinness World Records as the world’s fastest violinist. I set new records not only in electric violin, but in classical as well and from there I took the next challenge – to appear on Superhuman Showdown beating some incredible competition.”

Asked how he does it, Ben replied: “It’s taken tens of thousands of hours of practice to reach this speed but it definitely helped that my parents were musical and encouraged me to play. Meeting Linzi, who changed my image, got me physically fit and turned my life around so I’d have the same professional stage presence as she did helped my stamina and my focus. I believe that all of this combined to help me win the Superhuman title and set new world records which I plan to hold onto. I can only get faster from here.”

Light Up The Fuse’ by Ben's band FUSE is released in December.