One of the world's most famous climbers has been arrested after he dramatically scaled one of London's tallest buildings - without any safety gear.

Streets in the City of London were cordoned off this afternoon (Thursday, October 25) once police realised that daredevil Alain Robert was making his way up the outside of the building most commonly known as Heron Tower.

The skyscraper, which is now called Sales Force Tower, is a vertigo-inducing 46 floors high.

Dubbed "French Spiderman", Alain is known for elaborate climbs up some of the world's tallest structures without a harness, safety net or any wires to help him.

It took the 56-year-old less than an hour to reach the top of the 230 metre tall Heron Tower, near Liverpool Street station.

The skyscraper is home to popular restaurants Duck & Waffle and Sushi Samba.

Uniformed City of London Police officers arrived at 1.37pm, set up a taped cordon stopping traffic around the building and ushered the growing crowd back away from the building.

Once the climb was complete Alain was arrested and taken into police custody.

How long did it take him?

So Alain started climbing at around 1.35pm and got to the top at 2.20pm, or thereabouts. That means he finished his climb of the 202-metre-high tower in roughly 45 minutes.

It would have taken less than 30 seconds to take the lift from the ground floor up to the very top, so for every second it takes you or me to get there, it takes him a little more than a minute.

Alain Robert has been arrested

City of London Police have confirmed they have arrested “French Spiderman” Alain Robert.

Slightly off topic ...

Talk in the office has turend to the different Spidermans. While some of us are debating which actor’s version of Spiderman was the best some members of the team simply can’t help discussing which of the Spidey actors is the best looking...

Toby Maguire?

Tobey Maguire...?
Tobey Maguire...? (Image: Getty Images)

...nah

What about “Amazing” Andrew Garfield...?

Is Andrew Amazing?
Is Andrew Amazing? (Image: 24 Seven)

...nope.

It’s Tom Holland who has won our hearts!

Tom Holland is our favourite Spiderman!
Tom Holland is our favourite Spiderman! (Image: AP)

Aw!!!

...Sorry Alain!

Sorry Alain!
Sorry Alain! (Image: Mirrorpix)

What is he doing now?

Is Alain Robert climbing back down?

City of London Police have confirmed that he has not yet been arrested, which is likely to happen soon.

On previous climbs he has been arrested at the top, at the bottom and even halfway up or down the building, including an arrest on the 60th floor of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers on his way down from a climb.

Aaaand roads are open again

A simple tweet from City of London Police but a far from simple reason for the closure. You can now cycle, drive, take a taxi through Camomile Street but please stay on the ground whatever you do. Or at least use the lift.

French Spiderman vs the real Spiderman

If French Spiderman was to take on the real Spiderman in a climb off who would win?

So we know Alain has some mega climbing skills but he’s lacking a few of the super powers that the real Spiderman has.

The real Spiderman

  • Radioactive blood
  • Superhuman strength
  • Spidey senses which alert him to danger
  • Superhuman speed, durability and agility
  • Ability to cling to most surfaces
  • Wrist web-shooters to shoot spiderweb material
The real Spiderman would most likely whoop French Spiderman in a climb off
The real Spiderman would most likely whoop French Spiderman in a climb off (Image: Dumfries And Galloway Standard)

The French Spiderman

  • 44 years of climbing experience
  • A bag of chalk
  • Compact climbing body (he is 5ft 5ins tall and weighs about 7st 12lb (50kg), with a low fat ratio of bones to muscle)
  • Wafer-thin gloves and taped fingers

Let’s face it the original Spidey would probably win...



So who is this French Spiderman?

Alain is 56(!) but he’s quite short and has a body pretty much made for climbing. For more on who he is and what on Earth he’s thinking with this crazy stunt, click here.

Watch frightening 200-metre climb near Wembley Stadium

Alain Robert is not the only daredevil free-climber to show off his skills in London.

Earlier this month, George King climbed a 200-metre crane near Wembley Stadium to get a better look at the famous arch.

He says climbing to the top helps him "find clarity"
He says climbing to the top helps him "find clarity" (Image: Power of Passions)

You can see heartstopping footage of his climb here along with his justifications for doing so.

"Alain is an adventurer"

Asked if what Mr Robert was doing was actually a little barmy and just plain dangerous rather than a daring adventure, his manager, Bryan Yeubrey, said:

I just have to accept that. I can not argue against it, can I?

Alain is an adventurer. He wants to climb buildings. He is incredible.

He is good at it and has been doing it for many years.

Incredible video of Alain making his way up the skyscraper

For the full video of Alain starting his climb up the 202 metre-tall building, click here.

Alain has made it to the top

Alain Robert raises his arms victoriously on reaching the top of Heron Tower.

Alain at the top of Heron Tower
Alain at the top of Heron Tower (Image: PA)

The daredevil has climbed much taller buildings around the world including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which is well over 800 metres tall and just happens to be the world’s tallest building.

Camomile Street reopens

Camomile Street was closed between St Mary’s Axe and Bishopsgate but has now reopened.

Other roads affected by the police closures in the area include:

  • [A1211] Bevis Marks (EC3A,EC2M,EC2N) (All Directions)
  • [A10] Bishopsgate (EC2M,EC2N) (All Directions)
  • [A1211] Outwich Street (EC3A,EC2M,EC2N) (All Directions)
  • [A1211] Wormwood Street (EC3A,EC2M,EC2N) (All Directions)

Alain also climbed the neighbouring Lloyd's building

In 2003, Alain climbed the 84-metre Lloyd’s building just around the corner from Heron Tower. It’s only got 14 floors so climbing it was probably as challenging as walking upstairs to bed is for the rest of us.

Alain donned a Spiderman suit to climb the Lloyd's building in 2003
Alain donned a Spiderman suit to climb the Lloyd's building in 2003 (Image: Mirrorpix)

Fifteen years after he climbed the striking Lloyd’s building, he is back.

Alain has returned to the City of London after having climbed the Lloyd's building 15 years ago
Alain has returned to the City of London after having climbed the Lloyd's building 15 years ago (Image: Mirrorpix)

Spectators look on in shock

City workers paused their working lunches to watch Alain scale Heron Tower

Spectators watch as daredevil climber Alain Robert scales Heron Tower
Spectators watch as daredevil climber Alain Robert scales Heron Tower (Image: PA)

What other London skyscraper's has Alain climbed?

This is not the prolific climber’s first trip to London.

He successfully climbed One Canada Square in 1995 when it was still the UK’s tallest building.

Alain Robert nears the top of One Canada Square in 1995
Alain Robert nears the top of One Canada Square in 1995 (Image: Mirrorpix)

He tried again in 2002 but was not successful on that occasion.

He tried again in 2002 but was intercepted twice and eventually abandoned his climb halfway through
He tried again in 2002 but was intercepted twice and eventually abandoned his climb halfway through (Image: Mirrorpix)

Footage shows Alain climbing the skyscraper

More pictures from the scene

The photo below shows Alain Robert making his way up the tower.

Alain Robert makes his long way up
Alain Robert makes his long way up (Image: PA)

Here office workers in the City look on as Alain climbs without any safety gear.

Office workers look on as Alain Robert climbs their building
Office workers look on as Alain Robert climbs their building (Image: PA)

Who is Alain Robert?

Alain Robert is a 56-year-old French man who has dedicated his life to climbing the tallest urban structures around the globe.

He is 5ft 5ins tall and weighs just 50kg, but has trained to climb in extreme conditions his entire life.

Alain is known as “French Spiderman” for his illegal feats of superhuman climbing skill.

The only equipment he uses is some chalk on his hands to help with grip and to keep them dry.

Alain also carries his passport in his chalk bag as he is usually arrested by local authorities when he descends.

Police confirm road closures

City of London Police have confirmed road closures in the area after the unannounced climb.

Where is Heron Tower?

Sales Force Tower, better known as Heron Tower, is in the heart of the City of London, near Liverpool Street station.

The skyscraper is 230 metres tall and houses popular restaurants Sushi Samba and Duck & Waffle.

What do we know so far?

Welcome to our live coverage of this breaking story.

It is being reported that the man trying to climb Heron Tower is notorious French climber Alain Robert.

He is known for his daredevil climbs, which have made headlines across the globe.

Due to the dangerous nature of his climb, he is often arrested as soon as he descends.

Several roads around the busy area have been closed off by CIty of London Police to keep members of the public safe.