A BOY today spoke of how flames engulfed him when a TV-inspired stunt went horrifically wrong and said: "I thought I was going to die."

And Joe Armstrong, 11, of Tunnel Street, Darwen, speaking of his ordeal for the first time, warned other boys against imitating the antics of the TV daredevil show, Jackass.

Joe and a group of friends filmed their stunts, inspired by the MTV programme, also shown on Channel 4, and Michael Davies, 15, of Anchor Avenue, Darwen, put them on his website.

Other pranks included pushing a boy's head into a bed of nails and Michael being run over by a car being driven by his mother, Beverley Clare.

But last month Joe almost lost his life when he caught fire after petrol was poured on flames he was jumping over.

The sickening footage of the incident, first shown in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, has since appeared on national television, shocking viewers who heard Joe's screams for help and another boy pleading: "Put him out, put him out."

The incident led for calls for the show to be banned and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it would review its guidelines to TV companies as a result.

Joe will be scarred for life but is recovering at his home with help from his mum Allyson, 41. He said: "I felt something on me and there was a lot of pain. I thought I was going to die because I could not get the flames out.

"The pain was really bad, I have never felt anything like it. I remember this woman putting me in a cold water bath and putting a wet towel over me.

"Then the paramedics came up the stairs and squirted water on me. They helped the pain."

Joe was in Manchester Booth Hall Children's Hospital for three weeks. He has undergone several rounds of surgery for skin grafts to the severe burns on his thighs, legs and stomach.

Doctors have told him that he faces replacement skin grafts regularly until he stops growing at around 20.

Joe will also have to wear special 'pressure' trousers, which are skin tight and look like cycle shorts, for two years in an attempt to minimise the scarring. For the foreseeable future, his wounds needs hour-long massages where cream is rubbed in three times a day.

Joe should be fit enough to return to school in September, when he will start at Darwen Vale High after leaving Tockholes Primary.

He said: "I just want to get back to normal. I wish I had never done it. Others shouldn't do it, it is bad.

"I didn't think this would happen, it was just a bit of fun.

"I didn't known much about petrol and didn't know it could burn like it did."

Allyson said: "He has changed. He gets depressed. He will be okay then a big, black cloud comes over him.

"It has been a nightmare for us all and put a lot of pressure on us. Now we just want him to get better and for things to get back to normal.

"I think Jackass is pathetic. It should be banned. It is no use to anybody. If Jackass wasn't there, he wouldn't be injured."

Police interviewed Joe last Friday to see if there is a case for criminal charges. A police spokesman said no decision had yet been made.