Number 180 - 6th December 2003


Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer is now available from "Hiding the Elephant is simply the finest, best-told, most graceful history of the Golden Age of magic I've ever read. It belongs on that elite shelf of historical explorations, like Longitude or The Professor and the Madman, which are so entertaining, so informative that the reader with no prior interest will feel educated and enthralled on every page. Jim Steinmeyer has braided together the historian's trifecta of penetrating analysis, entertaining narrative, and larger themes, which combine to create a terrific story. Ultimately, he pulls off the holy grail of scholarship: his terrific yarn will make novelists jealous." Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil. To order Click Here. 6.12.03


The 32nd International Magic Convention takes place this weekend at the Holiday Inn, Kings Cross, London (Map) and in a change from tradition the names of close-up competitors have been released. In order, they are: (drawn at random) 1. Jupiter (Hungary) 2. Seth Engstrom (Sweden) 3. Sean Heydon (UK) 4. Alex Cahill (UK) 5. Manolo Talman (Spain) 6. Carlos Vaquera (Belgium) 7. Dr. Gabor G. Szabo (Hungary) 8. Paul McCormack (UK) 9. Ryan Swigert (USA) 10. Andy Field (UK) 11. Ferenc Galambos (Hungary) 12. Tony Price (Belgium) 13. Carducci & Jim Langley (USA & UK) 14. Michael Vincent (UK) 15. Hayashi (Germany) 16. Tom Stone (Sweden). If you hurry along you should still be able to register on the door (weekend 55.00, single day 35.00). More convention details from International Magic. This is always a first class event... not to be missed! 6.12.03


Blaine blasts Sky over starvation stunt coverage. "David Blaine today hit out at Sky TV as he revealed he was paid only $100,000 for his starvation stunt, a fraction of the 1m widely reported as his fee for going without food for 44 days. The US magician said he wished Sky had not been involved, claiming he had no idea it was going to broadcast live coverage of his stint in a Perspex box over the river Thames." To read the full story in The Guardian Click Here. David Blaine's return visit to the GMTV studios on Tuesday went without a hitch and this time it was Eammon Holmes who was 'protected' with a 'mysterious eye', the encounter was reported by and Ananova. Meanwhile he continues to do the rounds promoting his new DVD and video Above the Below which was released on Monday. 6.12.03


Channel 4 cleared over 'Russian roulette' stunt. "Channel 4 has been cleared of glamorising gun culture by TV watchdogs investigating complaints about a programme in which illusionist Derren Brown apparently played Russian roulette with a real bullet." To read the full story from The Guardian Click Here. Derren's new Marylebone flat is discussed in the Evening Standard. Derren Brown Live 2004, see What's On. 6.12.03


Seventeen year old Edd Crafer, who performs in the Norfolk area as "Magical Edd",  won the Anglian Magic Society's Powell Cup Competition on Wednesday evening last week. The competition took place at the Norwich Puppet Theatre and the award was presented to Edd by Margery and Dennis Powell. Having come second in this competition last year, Edd was extremely pleased to achieve first place this time around. Back in July he was awarded runner-up in The Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year Competition with an act that is both stylish and original. 6.12.03


Paul Kieve's career was profiled in an article in Liverpool's Daily Post on Friday, "There was a Canadian magician called Doug Henning doing magic specials on the television and I recorded them and tried to duplicate his illusions using cardboard boxes from the supermarket. I tried to cut my younger brother in half with a prop made out of a cardboard box but it fell apart..." Click Here to read the full story. Paul can be seen live in Duckie's Christmas Performance Palais - C'est Barbican! over the Christmas holidays, reported in The Independent Click Here, for more information and to book Click Here. 6.12.03


John Archer, Mel Mellors, Joe Riding and Mark Worgan appear at the Komedia Theatre, Brighton, on Monday December 8th in Klub Magic, Mark Worgan's monthly night of cabaret magic which has been doing great business since its inception earlier in the year. Tickets are 10 and doors open at 7.00pm with the show starting at 8.00pm. The venue has recently been redesigned and seats 300 allowing guests to enjoy food and drink. To book in advance Click Here. 6.12.03


Mark Leveridge Magic are currently featuring a number of offers and promotions on their website including Christmas Crackers and Web Offers plus details of the upcoming IMAGE day, December's Feature of the Month, and regular features such as Chatter, Back-Chat, The Wrinkles Column, The Comedy Zone, and more. Visit 6.12.03


"Derren Brown is a great guy but I did say to him, 'Why don't you use a real gun and a real bullet and just fire it at your hand so that you have a one in six chance of getting your hand blown off but you don't die?'" David Blaine responding to questions from the Oxford Union on Thursday evening. Libby Brooks from The Guardian was there to try and find out more about the man and what his 44 days in a Perspex box was really all about Click Here. 6.12.03


Dominic Wood's Spooky Magic (just published) features "scary tricks such as Dead Man's Finger, Spooky Hanky and Ghostly Coin" and looks set to be a popular present amongst 7-11 year olds this Christmas. Available from 6.12.03


Lance Burton's On the Road today at 4.40pm on ITV2 Joe Labero's new television special, Magician Impossible, will now been shown on December 27th at 6.25pm on ITV. Originally planned for transmission on December 13th it has been moved to a peak-viewing Christmas slot "Illusionist Roy Horn may be released by the month's end from the Los Angeles hospital where he's recovering from an attack by a white tiger, his publicist said on Monday" Click Here That's about it for this week, but before I go, here's one I wouldn't want anyone to miss! Click Here Your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 6.12.03