Number 43 - 21st April 2001


Some unique film footage of Britain's favourite magic and comic master Tommy Cooper has just been discovered some 50 years after it was shot. Found "in a garden shed at the bottom of the garden," literally, the film shows a young Tommy Cooper performing his act at the opening of the Lime Green Television Studios in December 1950. Desmond Campbell, regarded as the pioneer of television lighting, used to shoot live film for his own interest and reference in the studio with his own hand held movie camera. Campbell stored all his films in his garden shed and they were only recently discovered by his son Neil. The footage has now been offered to the National TV Museum, where experts are working to restore it to its original condition. This unique record of Tommy Cooper will feature in the museum's new Insight Research Centre, which will open later on this year. "These programmes were literally beamed into the ether, never to return, and TV historians could only speculate on their contents. This completely changes our view of what early TV broadcasts were like - we're absolutely delighted" said National TV Museum curator John Trenmouth. Tommy Cooper was born in Carephilly in 1921. In 1984 he collapsed, and later died, on stage, in a live televised performance from Her Majesty's Theatre, London aged just 63. A display of his life is on show at the Tourist Centre in Caerphilly. 21.4.01


David Blaine Frozen in Time: Blaine's Cut, aired in the States on Monday April 16th. In this presentation, edited by Blaine himself, viewers saw new magic that wasn't included in the first airing of this special. Viewers were also treated to behind-the-scenes coverage of Blaine's battle with delirium, hypothermia and the other serious dangers that he faced in attempting to complete his ice tomb endurance test. And there's good news for David Blaine fans here in the UK. Channel 4 have just announced that they will continue to buy in his US TV Specials for the foreseeable future. They are also working on a book with him. Things aren't so bright for fans of Paul Zenon though, Channel 4 have decided not to commission any more shows at this time. 21.4.01


Chris Hare presents The Chris Hare Hypnotic Show on Thursday 3rd May at the Hazelwood Golf Club, Croysdale Avenue, Green Street, Sunbury on Thames from 7.30pm. Tickets are 10 and include a buffet and live band. Chris is a great live performer (anything can happen!), so if you are in the area why not go along and enjoy a live show. For tickets phone Chris on: 01784 453192. 21.4.01


Here is a message for all those who replied to the Performance workshop for Magicians notice (that appeared in MagicWeek a few weeks ago) with Richard McDougall, Sarah Brignall and Abigale Dulay, that was to be held at The Drill Hall, London on 5th and 6th May: "Unfortunately this has been temporarily postponed. We apologize for any inconvienience. We have had problems with our e mail and are not sure if all of you recieved the correct information or in fact any information at all. We would be most grateful to those who are still interested in participating or would like information on the course to send their names, adresses and phone numbers to Sarah Brignall or Richard McDougall: The Studio, Manleys Hill, Storrington, West Sussex RH20 4BW. Phone: 01903 743590 Email:" 21.4.01


MagicWeek reader Hank writes: "I am starting an ezine which will contain an original effect by myself and Gaping Lotus, which will be published on the last day of every month. The ideas are fresh, new and have been tested thoroughly to ensure that they are finely tuned before they reach your inbox. If you are interested in subscribing, then just send an email to me, a blank one (Don't write anything) with the subject line of 'subscription to ezine.' This will then be added to an ever increasing mailing list, and then all you have to do is wait until the last day of every month to receive your copy." Subscribe by emailing: 21.4.01


British scientists (and magicians) Dr Richard Wiseman (photo) and Peter Lamont are to fly out to Las Vegas in August to study how magicians use psychology in their performances. "Close-up magicians doing coin and card tricks are superb at making us look where they want us to." said Wiseman. The duo will also study how magicians use their ability "to lie" and how that then becomes an integral part of their deception. The research is being funded by a 10,000 grant from SciArt, a charity set up to enable collaborations between scientists and artists to go ahead. 21.4.01


Vincent Raven wrote from Switzerland to thank MagicWeek readers who helped him following his request for information on 'Illusions Plus' two weeks ago: "Thank you very much for your help! In your online magazine MagicWeek. Much UK Magicians have write me! Thank you very very much!! With all the best wishes from Switzerland." Vincent Raven. 21.4.01


The '' website now states: "Illusions Plus has ceased trading and all email addresses have been deleted. Date of closure 19 March 2001." There are no contact details for customers... nothing. If I may I am going to interject here with a word of warning. When Illusions Plus were in business they offered many many illusions on their website with a seeming disregard for the creators. It was very clear to me that they didn't have agreements with the inventors. Well, just as you would check that someone had the right to sell you a second hand car (i.e. you'd check to make sure that it wasn't stolen) I'd recommend that you do the same before making a major illusion purchase. Ask the manufacturer for details about the inventor, and what payment they receive for their work. If you're not sure yourself about who invented what then do a little homework, ask magician friends, or do a search on the internet MagicSearch. I've never understood how a performer can take applause for an illusion that isn't theirs to perform in the first place. 21.4.01


'Web Wizard' Paul Daniels has a very enjoyable fortnightly column in new computer magazine Web User passing on his tips and thoughts on the internet, and computers in general. 21.4.01


MagicWeek advertisers have just given their site a make-over and now offer: Close-up Magic, Card Magic, Coin Miracles, Wallet Magic, Illusions, Escapology, Children's Magic, Stage Magic, Lock Picking, Beginners Magic, Accessories, Books and Novelty Items. Do take a look: In fact support all our advertisers as without them there would be no MagicWeek! Magic - Art of Darkness (BBC 2 Tuesday night) presented a very dull look at 'real magic' and was all about as convincing as the 'colour changing records' on a good night. It's been a hectic week... See you next week, Duncan. 21.4.01