Posted Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:39am AEST
Updated Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:30am AEST
Freak accident: Knights jousting at a medieval tournament (file photo). (Reuters: Stephen Hird)
A man has died in a freak accident while filming a medieval jousting tournament for the archaeological TV show Time Team, Britain's Channel Four said overnight.
The unnamed man, a professional re-enactor, died after a splinter of wood from a lance flew through the slit of his helmet and penetrated his eye.
He died after a week in hospital. The accident occurred in September, but the man's death has only just been made public.
"We have been shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic accident," a Channel Four spokeswoman said.
"The professional company of historical enactors has an excellent safety record and took all the appropriate and necessary precautions and it does sadly appear this was a tragic freak accident."
The man had been filming a sequence for a Time Team special about King Edward III's Round Table at Windsor Castle, with the jousting demonstration taking place at Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire.
The participants were using lances with a balsa wood tip designed to break off on impact with an opponent's shield, but a splinter flew off through the slit of the man's helmet, Channel Four said.
The show's host, actor Tony Robinson, was not present when the incident took place, the broadcaster said.
The planned episode is to be screened, although the jousting footage will not be shown.
Time Team is broadcast on ABC TV in Australia.