Nothing can stop Virgin Balloon pilot Mark Simmons (AKA ‘Nobby’) as not only is he feeding the social media addicts on Twitter with updates from the ballooning world, but he has also recently received his Ju-Jitsu 2nd Dan Black Belt from Grandmaster den Butler. This officially makes him a tweeting ninja balloon pilot!

The skill of Jiu-Jitsu, originally developed by the Samurai, is an unarmed martial art commonly known for its ‘grappling’ techniques and has, over time, become recognised as a ‘soft’ or ‘harmonised’ sport. It takes many years of dedication to reach Nobby's level so congratulations from everyone at Virgin Balloon Flights HQ.

Nobby has plans to organise the highest-ever martial arts class in his balloon - so watch this space. He will be helping to make the first Virgin London Marathon an amazing spectacle by tethering one of our super duper Virgin hot air balloons at the race, so keep your eyes peeled for the big red balloon at the start line on April 25.

After all that buttering up let’s hope Nobby’s ego can still fit in his balloon basket.

You can join him for the experience of a lifetime with flights from as little as £169pp from launch sites, including Bristol, Bath, and Glastonbury.