Number 47 - 19th May 2001


A phone call from JJ this morning brought the very sad news that Richard Ross of Holland died of a heart attack in his garden on Saturday, May 19th, aged just 55. For me he was, and is, the world's greatest silent magician. Winning FISM twice (an incredible achievement) Richard's manipulative act had charm, humour and skill. He connected with his audience from the moment that he walked on stage. He was a true joy to watch. Highlights were his stunning card and jumbo card productions, followed by the spinning of cards into the audience, his beautiful ring routine where the rings literally melted together, a brief moment where he let the audience into the secret of a coin vanish that he'd just performed in a "look what I just did!" cheeky school-boyish kind of way, and of course his pocket watch productions, all impeccably timed to music. He also included beautiful sequences of manipulation with coins and billiard balls. Throughout his act the magic flowed seamlessly, underlined by the music which had been specially arranged and recorded for him by a group of session musicians, blending both original and classical music together. Still the best use of music by any silent magician that I've ever seen.

I first saw Richard Ross's act at an International Day of Magic Gala Show in the late 70's. By chance I was introduced to him, and so began an evening of magic with Richard Ross, Pavel, Dave Brown, and myself. No magician has influenced me like Ross. That evening I remember him giving me advice on how to 'walk on', how to 'simplify' the act, and how to be 'focused' on stage; words of advice that have stayed with me to this day. We ended up at 4am, all a little worse for wear, playing blind mans bluff, (why now I have no idea!) with Richard Ross saying "if you ever tell anyone that you were playing blind mans bluff at four in the morning with Richard Ross they will never believe you!" Highly respected by his peers, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

To his wife, Veronique, go our deepest sympathies.
Duncan Trillo 21.5.01


David Blaine - Frozen in Time makes its British television debut at 9.10pm on Sunday 27th May on Channel 4. The show features behind-the-scenes footage of Blaine's amazing 'live' ice-tomb stunt which lasted for nearly 62 hours, and more street magic from the man who re-invented the genre. This is then followed by a repeat showing of the excellent Derren Brown - Mind Control at 10.10pm, which is in turn followed by Gallup Extreme Magic: Live on Tour at 11.10pm "Magician Robert Gallup presents magic and illusion ranging from street magic to dangerous stunts." 19.5.01


Penn and Teller's Magic and Mystery Tour - Penn and Teller seek out unusual magic around the world. At 00.20am on Saturday night 26th May (in India), 00.15am on Sunday night 27th May (in Egypt), and 00.05am on Monday night 28th May (in China). One hour per show on Channel 4. There is so much magic on Television in the coming weeks... see TV Magic for more information, dates and times. 19.5.01


Keep an eye out for the current Carling Black Label television commercial in which a girl in a bar "removes" her eye, drops it into someone's lager, (so that they now no longer want to drink it) drinks the pint thus retrieving her eye, and finally slaps the back of her head to make it 'pop' back into place! It's the best magic performance that I've seen on television this week - and I've just finished watching Friday nights World Magic Awards (and I wish that I was joking, but I'm not). There was some good magic on the World Magic Awards, but also a lot of dross. Part two next Friday at 7pm on Channel 5. 19.5.01


American Illusionist and magic creator Kevin James set up an excellent forum for discussing all things magic a number of months ago. This is one of the best magic boards out there and benefits from not being over-used by those who post on it. A special feature is that every month a guest magician is invited to take questions. In recent months we've heard from Max Maven, Steve Bedwell, and Eugene Burger, and currently it's Stan Allen. The KJmagic Board: Click Here 19.5.01


John Lenahan goes undercover in Hoaxbusters (originally scheduled to go out nearly a year ago) to reveal the tricks of the conman's trade, and discovers just how easily we all fall for the simplest stings and swindles. A special hour-long programme on ITV at 10.50pm on Sunday 27th May opposite Channel Four's night of magic. 19.5.01


The Sussex Magic Circle is visiting Blois in France next week. Blios is twinned with Lewes in Sussex (where the Sussex Magic Circle is based) so that's the perfect excuse for four days of French hospitality... wine, food and magic! For information about joining the Sussex Magic Circle visit their website: Click Here 19.5.01


Michael Vincent was back in the news this week. The Evening Standard reported on Wednesday that the Metropolitan Police had to change venues from the London Chamber of Commerce for Michael's "Magic of Networking Course" on Thursday as the 3,000 fee, being met by taxpayers, was considered to be "a sensitive issue." 19.5.01


More news regarding the Doncaster Magic Circle's Convention to be held on Sunday 7th October 2001. The lecturer is Peter Roberts and dealers will include: Paul Howard Pro Magic, Practical Magic, Magic Enterprises, Merlins, Magic Box with more to be announced. More on the Societies web site in the future: Click Here or Email: 19.5.01


Last Sunday's Bristol Day of Magic was a great success, with record numbers attending, and a sold-out gala show at the 650 seat Playhouse Theatre. Next year's event will be held on 12th May 2002. It's been a busy week with a number of days at the famous Elstree film studios (home of the original Star Wars movie) working with some actors as they perfect various card moves. There are some exciting projects in the pipeline - keep your eyes on MagicWeek. News and views always welcomed. That's it for this week, see you next week, Duncan. 19.5.01