Number 393 - 5th January 2008


Justin Lee Collins is The Convention Crasher. In the first episode of a new three-part series, funny man Justin Lee Collins crashes a magic convention in Canton, Ohio. He has just four weeks to transform himself into a master illusionist, good enough to compete against the magicians in the convention's "Battle of the Magicians" competition. Can Justin pull off Houdini's classic 'Metamorphosis' in front of an audience of professional magicians, or will he end up all in a flap? The Convention Crasher 10pm on Thursday 17th January on Channel 4. (MagicWeek can reveal that he does get placed!) See TV Magic. 5.1.08


The Session 2008 is only a few weeks away (26th and 27th January). Andi Gladwin and Rob James have just managed to book one of America's finest young card magicians, Ricky Smith. Ricky has received excellent reviews from some of magic's finest, and will be making his first ever convention appearance at The Session 2008, teaching his "Cherry Control" and more of his fantastic magic. Tickets are not available on the door so book now to ensure that you get a seat at the UK's only dedicated close-up convention. 5.1.08


Blackpool Magicians Convention have extended the deadline for registrants to receive a free copy of "Down A Magical Memory Lane" by Derek Lever (value 25.00). The original deadline was 31st December 2007, however if you purchase a Gold Card Registration before 21st January 2008 you will now receive a free copy of the book! The deadline has been extended due to the late mailing of the Blackpool Convention Leaflets. The convention is nearly sold out... so hurry! 5.1.08


Mel Mellers lectures for the Home Counties Magical Society on Thursday 17th January at 8pm (doors open at 7pm). Non members welcome, 5.00 charge. Venue: The Shinfield Parish Hall, School Green, Shinfield, Reading RG2 9EH (Map) or can contact Dan Hudson, Programme Secretary: telephone 0118 93 10 981. 5.1.08


Magician Damien O'Brien ended 2007 by appearing at a string of high profile events including the OK magazine Christmas Party and Chelsea and Charlton players' parties. "I'm looking forward to 2008 - it is already shaping up to be a great year; I have just signed a deal with a clothing company and a major magazine." Right now Damien is getting ready to film for a new TV show before heading off the St Lucia to present an award at the Caribbean Urban Music Awards 2008. "The Scene Magazine interviews Damien O' Brien" Click Here. 5.1.08


The Liverpool Mahatma Magic Circle will be holding a very special 'Magical European Capital of Culture Celebration Dinner & Cabaret' on Saturday 17th May at the superb Formby Hall Golf Club (the new home of the country's first Golf PGA Academy). Paul Stone will be producing the event. Numbers are limited to 150 people, and over 100 tickets have already been sold. Tickets are 47.50 per person, and include an excellent four course Dinner and a terrific Cabaret, available from Paul Stone: 5.1.08


Congratulations to Carl Charlesworth (Magic Carl) - winner of the Watford Association of Magicians Children's Entertainer of the Year 2007/2008 award. Carl gained first place with his unique handling of the Miser's Dream, 'Spot' (inspired by the great Tommy Cooper), a funny and original performance of 'Hippity Hop Rabbits' and his sidekick Ernie the orangutan! "I am proud to be the new keeper of the WAM Children's Entertainer of the Year Award. I was exceptionally happy to be presented the award by last year's winner, my first and great friend in magic, Magic Dave (Dave Allen). Dave is the reason I started in children's magic - thanks Dave!" The competition took place on Friday 28th December 2007 at WAM's meeting place in Bricket Wood, Carl said: "Joining WAM was one of the best (magical) choices I ever made." 5.1.08


International News: "Variety Live, a fantastic International Variety Show direct from the London Palladium is coming to Suncoast Hotel & Casino in Summerlin for 3 Nights only on Thursday January 31st, Friday & Saturday February 1st & 2nd 2008. 'Variety Live' is a stunning show that stars a world class line-up of talent from across the globe featuring six sensational performers! Video: Click Here also see special guest star Dan Dunn in his famous YouTube clip which has had over 10 Million visits Click Here. This unforgettable show for the whole family features the very best Variety acts from around the world! Tickets are $19.95, $29.95, $39.95 and are available directly from Suncoast Box Office on (702) 636 7075." 5.1.08


Mental UFO II, from Labcomagic, is now more versatile than ever. Meet the Labco team at the Blackpool convention in February, or if you can't wait until then visit for all the latest on Mental UFO II. 5.1.08


Gordon Drayson was interviewed on BBC Radio 2 on Friday, talking about his website (which now includes a shop) and balloon twisting in general. The show was the Steve Wright show, which was presented over the Christmas/New Year period by Liza Tarbuck (photo). In a few days visit and select "Listen Again" to hear the chat (final 30 minutes of the show). 5.1.08


Chris Congreave lectures at the Bolton Magicians Club on Wednesday 9th January at 8.30pm. The Venue is the Diffcocker Inn, Chorley Old Road, Bolton. Further details of this and other lectures can be found at 5.1.08


Galithia Conexion have just returned from a successful trip aboard Britanny Ferries' mv Bretagne. "It was the first time that the company has tried a Christmas four day cruise and we were chosen for the main cabaret, performing two shows in the theatre with our blend of funky and fresh magic with a touch of comedy." 5.1.08


Alex Lodge lectures for the Associated Conjurers of East Sussex on Wednesday 9th January from 8pm-10pm at the Thomas A Beckett Church Hall, Cliffe High Street, Lewes, East Sussex. Visitors welcome: 5.00 entrance fee, free entry for members of Southdowns Magicians Club or green ticket "Bring a Friend" entry. For more information contact Martin Lewis or Nicky Moon, telephone 01903 532413, Alex is also taking bookings and dates from other clubs, telephone 01256 326839 for more information. 5.1.08


Jonathan Royle has just released several new DVDs teaching Memory Magic, Cold Reading, Mentalism and Pseudo Hypnosis. These are new for 2008 and can be found exclusively at 5.1.08


Magicians: A Digital Phantasmagoria By Max Scratchmann. A Tribute to the Seven Sorcerers who topped the bill at the Electric Theatre, 1904-1954. Aberdeen Arts Centre, Kings Street, Aberdeen, 5th January 31st January 2008 (Unsuitable for children under ten years of age). Admission Free. 5.1.08


"Magic Martin" Lewis, from Worthing, was recently invited to participate in an hour-long BBC2 documentary to be aired in May with Daisy Asquith (BAFTA nominee and Channel 4's Cutting Edge film maker) looking at the life of a children's entertainer. Martin and partner Nicky have enjoyed meeting up with other entertainers involved in the project, and sharing the highs and lows of the work with Daisy Asquith. Martin and Nicky can also be seen on an upcoming edition of Bargain Hunt for the BBC, which will be filmed at Ardingly Antiques Fair later this month 5.1.08


Bob (Kit) Taylor (19.10.16 to 1.1.08). Remembered by Alan Coventry, Click Here. 5.1.08


"Modern day Houdini puts life on the line" Click Here "Magician strikes gold" Click Here "Full of tricks" Click Here "Growing up with Houdini: Memorabilia more than smoke and mirrors to family" Click Here "What The Magic Circle pulled out of the hat" Click Here "Chen a card-carrying magician" Click Here "Just magic for crash victim" Click Here Next Saturday we'll be looking at the new George McBride DVD from Big Blind Media. Your UK news is always welcome - see you next week, Duncan. 5.1.08