A man has died after a freak accident during a mock joust for Channel 4 TV series Time Team.

Paul Allen, a historical performer, was taking part in an episode dealing with Edward III's Round Table at Windsor Castle, when a splinter of wood entered his eye during a fight re-enactment while filming at Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire, on September 13th.

Mr Allen, a born-again Christian and devoted husband, died a week later in hospital.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman confirmed Mr Allen was part of a professional group which regularly re-enacted fights.

"We have been shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic accident," she 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 re-enactment in question will not be shown in the episode's 2008 broadcast, though the show will feature a dedication to Mr Allen at the close.

One tribute for Mr Allen on a memorial website established in his memory reads: "The one thing everyone would agree on was that Paul was certainly no wallflower and would make his points with a certain amount of gusto and his own, inimitable flair. He also had strong opinions which he would rigorously defend."

It added: "We have No Doubt that since that terrible day he has been trawling around heaven looking for veterans of the Greek-Persian wars trying to substantiate his theories, and that is a thought that makes us smile."

23/10/2007 09:05:30