A PRESTATYN aerial artist who ran away with the circus has wowed judges once again at competition.

Talia Hawker has beat competition from around the world in the Aerial Open Professionals category, as well as the overall competition, in the UK Aerial Performance Championships at Russell's International Circus.

The performer - who has been touring the country since March with Russell's and daughter Safia, five, following last year's win in the Instructor’s Aerial Silk - earned her third consecutive win in the more difficult category with a death defying routine that saw her spin from her neck on a 'Spanish web' cotton sash 30 feet above the ground.

Talia, 30, said: "This competition was much harder, I had to go up against some of the best professionals from other circuses and from all over the world. I was the only person in the competition that decided to neck spinning, which is very dangerous and I think that's what the judges enjoyed."

"For the routine, I put a loop around my neck and then my spinner Kevin Tackas spins the rope - it actually looks like I'm hanging myself, although I'm not.

"It's taken me 10 months in the gym and practicing on the rope building my neck to be able to do this."

However, despite seeing off competition from performers from as far away as China, the thrill of competition is a distant second fro the performer to the thrill of performing in the big top.

Talia added: "For me it's not really about being the best, I do what I do for myself and for the audience's enjoyment, so I didn't really see it as a competition. I just wanted the judges to enjoy the show like any other audience."

Since joining the circus in March for a full eight month season after a brief eight week stint last autumn, Talia and Safia have now committed to living the circus life full time.

Talia said: "Safia and I both love this life we've created for ourselves, and she's even performing her own hula hoop, aerial hoop and floor gymnastic shows during the day now.

"We've had an amazing summer, in this beautiful weather, touring the country with our circus family and we don't have a care in the world - the whole experience has been one long high and we wouldn't change it for the world."

Talia will return to Prestatyn when the circus season ends in November, returning to her instructor role at Elevation Aerial Arts on Brook Park Avenue in Prestatyn, while Safia will return to Ysgol Clawdd Offa, until March.