Tom Cruise used a disused quarry in Oxfordshire to practice what has been dubbed one of the most spectacular stunts in cinematic history for his latest Mission: Impossible film.

The seventh film of the spy series was filmed partly in the UK and stars the Hollywood A-lister returning to the character of Ethan Hunt.

The action-packed film has the globe-trotting secret agent tackling dramatic car chases through Rome and running along the roof of trains.

But the most-talked about stunt has Ethan riding a motorbike off the edge of a 1,240-metre cliff and plummeting towards the ground below before his parachute opens.

Tom Cruise said it was "far and away the most dangerous thing" he had ever attempted.

Stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood said rehearsals for the stunt began in summer 2020, when the crew constructed a training ground in a disused quarry near Wallingford.

The set comprised a motocross dirt track, complete with jumps, as well as a 135-metre long bike ramp for Cruise to jump off.

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The ramp, made from scaffolding, was part of a £2 million temporary stunt rig, believed to be the most expensive ever built in this country.

Thousands of heavy-duty cardboard boxes were stacked in the deepest part of the quarry to act as ‘pillows’ so that his bike would land in tact, Mr Eastwood told Mail Online.

Over the course of his training, Cruise did more than 13,000 motocross jumps, both on the ground and off the end of the ramp, sometimes up to 30 in a single day.

He also trained in base jumping for a year, parachuting from radio masts and skyscrapers.

Once training was completed in the UK, the crew moved to Western Norway, where engineers reconstructed the scaffolding at the top of Helsetkopen, a 1,246-metre mountain in the village of Hellesylt.

Cruise, 61, performed the stunt six times for the camera.