THE grisly scar on his wrist

hinted at previous failure, but chainsaw juggler Tom Comet succeeded in his world record bid in Edinburgh yesterday.

A spellbound audience watched the Canadian throwing and catching three running chainsaws on the Princes Street Gardens stage.

They had already seen each of the roaring blades slice through a plank of wood with ease and chop a melon in two - proving the danger was real.

Three marshals, including Bill Fergusson - a juggler with 22 years' experience, also looked on in the heat to certify the world record attempt and count the number of times a saw went into the air.

Cuban Rafael Carlos Rodriguez Bove, who was the title holder, managed 42 throws when he juggled three running chainsaws to enter the Guinness Book of Records last October.

In his first bid to shatter this achievement yesterday, Mr Comet reached 22 tosses before one saw thudded to the floor. But, with a 500-strong crowd behind him, the 30-year-old asked for the lights to be lowered and tried again, this time reaching 44 throws to enthusiastic applause.

Afterwards, still shaking from the daredevil stunt, he said: ''I really wanted to get it the first time.

''I was worried I would be too tired for a second attempt. It is a fitness thing. They weigh about 12lbs each but it is not that, it is what they are.

''You do not want to make a mistake and get one of those in your face and I make a living juggling with my hands. They are capable of sawing a hand off.''

In rehearsals, Mr Comet said he had achieved 55 throws, but felt the stage lights in his eyes affected his official record bid.

The stunt performer, who trained at a circus school in

Bristol, is part of a team that has come to the Fringe with the Rocket Johnny and Roxanne Rolls Untimely, Tragic and Fiery Death Stunt Show.

Mr Comet, who said the scars on his wrist were the result of burns sustained through a different stunt, was first challenged to juggle three chainsaws by a musician called Paul Weir, also involved in the Fringe production.

For seven years, he had been juggling a running chainsaw, an egg and a bowling ball together, but accepted this dare.

It is the first time Mr Comet, who has also toured with the notorious Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and performed for Madonna in New York, has taken part in the Edinburgh Festival.

His show, put on by the Daredevil Opera Company, is at The Underbelly until August 10.