Number 440 - 29th November 2008


Derren Brown: An Evening of Wonders. Derren Brown's sell-out live show comes to a plasma screen near you in the New Year, on Channel 4. Derren will also be on tour again in 2009, with an all-new show. See What's On for tour dates. Derren Brown is known as a brilliant showman and illusionist but in his spare time he uses a very different skill. He is a prodigiously talented artist who paints caricatures of famous faces from around the world. He has painted everyone from Richard Dawkins to Robbie Williams, from Anthony Hopkins to Amy Winehouse. Now, for the first time, they are all collected together, with Derren's thoughts on the person concerned and why he wanted to paint them in the first place, in his new book to be published by Channel 4 on April 9th. Caricatures by Derren Brown. Hardcover, 128 pages. To pre-order from Click Here. Look out for Derren in his first acting role in an upcoming episode of the BBC series Crooked House, written by Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen). 29.11.08


Cause an Effect. 4th December 2008 at Westbourne Studios, London. Cause an Effect is a night featuring a collaboration of talented artists, musicians, VJs, DJs, makeup artists, choreographers, dancers, magicians and fashion designers. There's a strong focus on magic, with close-up magic around cocktail bars from Darius Ziatabari, Neil Henry, Lee Hathaway, Dynamo (TBC), Darryl Rose, Chris Keward and Ben Williams, plus Oliver Tabor performing his dove act on stage. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are £12 in advance or £15 on the door. This includes two free cocktails. Visit 29.11.08


The World's Greatest Bar Bets. Alex Conran, Jessica Clement and Paul Wilson (The Real Hustle) demonstrate a selection of startling and astonishing bar bets and challenges in this brand new DVD release The World's Greatest Bar Bets. "Alex, Jess and Paul show you a series of classy, easy-to-learn challenges using everyday items from wine glasses to bank notes, playing cards to eggs. The experts perform these proposition bets in a real bar, up against real punters. Close-up, slow motion sequences, explain just how it’s done…" Perfect for those after-hours moments when your client asks to see "just one more" - available now from Click Here. 29.11.08


Ian Keable, fresh from being awarded The 2008 Magic Circle Carlton Award for Comedy, will be lecturing at The Ulster Society of Magicians at 7.30pm on Monday, 1st December at The Platform, Holywood, County Down. Ian's lecture is called Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic. The lecture ties in with his book which is selling extremely well and has received rave reviews. It is priced at £25 + p & p and can be purchased directly from Ian's website Also, see John Archer's review in MagicWeek, Click Here. 29.11.08


Another Case of Milton Jones, 6.30pm on Monday 1st December on BBC Radio Four. Milton Jones bestrides the globe as an expert in his field, with no ability whatsoever. Milton is a famous magician and illusionist who gets tangled up in a devilish plot to make the Bank of England disappear. Starring Tom Goodman-Hill. 29.11.08


The Surrey Society of Magicians held their Annual Stage Competition on November 27th in front of a packed house at their headquarters in Leatherhead. This year six competitors entered and the standard of magic, as usual, was very high. The winner on the night was Stephen Baker who performed a very elegant version of Losander's Floating Table illusion. The Bernard Weller Trophy for Comedy, as voted for by members of the Society, was deservedly awarded to Vince Blake and his alter ego "David Coppermeadow". Pictured, left to right, Magic Judge Scott Penrose, Stephen Baker, Vince Blake and the compère Steve Lobley. 29.11.08


John Archer tops the bill at the Dundee Society of Magicians 70th Anniversary Dinner on February 5th 2009 at the Logie Club, Liff Road, Dundee. Tickets are £20.00 each from Albert Lawson on 01382 622225 email 29.11.08


The Nottingham Guild of Magicians will be supporting BBC Radio Nottingham's Big Night Out on Wednesday, December 3rd, by performing at two venues in the city centre. Big Night Out is a venture organised by breakfast show presenter Andy Whittaker to tackle Nottingham's image as a no-go area at night by providing a feast of free or low-cost entertainment for his listeners. A team of close-up workers led by Roy Bond will be at the Bell Inn on Old Market Square from 7-9pm. Nick Brunger, ably assisted by Graham Harper, will be presenting two performance of gothic magic in the sinister surroundings of the Galleries of Justice (a museum of crime and punishment in the city's ancient prison and court building) at 6pm and 7pm. Magic in the Bell is free, and the magic show costs just £3 a head. Booking is advisable, contact: or 0115 952 0555. Photo: Guild Secretary Marcel Burn entertaining at the first Big Night Out in 2007. 29.11.08


The Albion Magic Company have just launched a brand-new website. Visit to see what's new. 29.11.08


Abdul Khalifa emails, "I’ve had an interest in magic from a young age so for me to grow up and become a magician has been the best thing ever… anyway I don’t know if you know this but most Asians tend to go into the music scene or acting, so I’d say I was one of the few lucky ones that was bitten by the magic bug and went in to magic." Abdul has performed his magic for Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan and actress Kajol, and has also entertained Asian R'n'B singers Jay Sean, Juggy D, and DJ Rishi Rich. Abdul wants members of the Asian community to see that there is more to the entertainment world than just music or acting. Photo: Abdul with singer Lisa Mafia. Visit for more info. 29.11.08


Will Houston Lecture. Will Houston lectures for the Liverpool Magic Circle on Thursday 4th December. The youngest ever European Champion of Close-up Magic, Will has appeared at The Magic Castle in Hollywood and lectured and performed in Europe and America. Venue: The Alder Sports and Social Club, Alder Road, West Derby, Liverpool L12 2BA (Map). Members £3.00, Non Members £6.00 on the door (no need to book). 29.11.08


Jay's good fortune. Richard Leigh emails that he is currently directing two new stand-up shows starring Jay Fortune. At a recent invitation-only showcase for the Entertainer of the Year Awards, Jay was the only patter act to go through to the live final next July. Based on his success at the showcase, Jay has already been booked to perform on a cruise (P&O Ventura) this Christmas, and at venues worldwide with his new stand-up show, featuring visual comedy and magic, throughout 2009. 29.11.08


Ravi Mayar is seen here with television and radio presenter James Whale following a performance for James Whale's charity fund for kidney cancer research. Other recent appearances include The National Television Awards 2008 and performances in  Mumbai, India, at the IBM (technology) convention. Ravi will be featured in the winter issue of the Asiana magazine next month. 29.11.08


Paranormalist Paul Bell is hosting a Yuletide night of magic and ghouls on December 12th at Dudley Castle, reputed to be the most haunted castle in England! The evening consists of a two course silver service meal, followed by a ghost tour of the castle, then an entertaining mind-reading show in the castle's haunted crypt which will climax with an authentic séance in the pitch dark! It will be a fun yet spooky night, combining genuine paranormal activity (whatever that might be) with all the tricks of the mentalist trade. The evening runs from 7pm until the Witching Hour, and the price for the full show plus meal is a very reasonable £45. Visit for full details. 29.11.08


International News: Steve Dacri brings his 'Intimate Illusion' show to the Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas. The very exclusive magic dinner show, 'Intimate Illusions' debuts Friday December 26th at 6pm in the elegant fine dining restaurant Charlie Palmer Steak, in the Four Seasons Hotel. Steve Dacri presents 'in your face and under your nose' magic in an intimate setting during this limited engagement. The dinner show happens every Friday and Saturday night through to March 28th 2009. Tickets are now on sale for the entire run, and shows are limited to 30 seats. Tickets can be purchased via or 29.11.08


Now that's Magic! Martin Lewis, The President of The Associated Conjurers of East Sussex (ACES), proposed to long-term girlfriend and Secretary of the Society, Nicky Moon, whilst performing a short cabaret in front of 40 family and friends in Worthing during Nicky's 40th Birthday celebrations on November 23rd. Martin produced a beautiful Champagne diamond engagement ring which fitted perfectly. Nicky told MagicWeek “he hadn’t told anyone, even his three kids who were with us. It was the best way for a magician to propose, doing what he does best and it took everybody by surprise.” Martin originally met Nicky at a magic show and they were photographed earlier in the year by the Daily Mirror to tell their story. 29.11.08


Houdini remembered. Illusions Magic Bar in Bristol commissioned artist Annabel De Vetten recently to decorate two main support pillars in the bar. Owner Mark's idea was to go with a Houdini Water Torture Cell theme which has clearly worked out really well. 29.11.08


Christian Fechner, 26th July 1944 - 26th November 2008. Christian Fechner died on November 26th, at the age of just 64, following a long period of illness. Well known as a French film producer, Fechner was twice nominated for a BAFTA Film Award. At FISM in Brussels in 1979 he was awarded first prize for illusion and invention and had been a prolific magic inventor, collector, historian and writer. He notably created illusions for Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield. Obituary in Le Monde, Click Here. Communications can be sent to Mrs Solange Fechner and children, 39 rue des Tilleuls, 92100 Boulogne, France. 29.11.08


"Show Review: 'Lance Burton: Master Magician'" Click Here • Gary Williams reviews 3 DVDs from Workers-Corner Click Here • "Prize-giving at school was just magic" Click Here • "Magic afternoon as Paul Daniels casts a spell" (includes video) Click Here • "Derren Brown: The Specials DVD review" Click Here, available from Click Here • "One Enchanted Evening with magician Mark Townsend" Click Here • "Jackman as 'Harry' in Elfman and Yazbek's Broadway Bound Houdini?" Click Here • Christmas is coming - visit the MagicWeek DVD & Book Shop and treat yourself! • "Jane is Magician of the Year" Click Here + "Video: Magician wins top award" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome, please remember the 12 noon deadline for the following Saturday. See you next week, Duncan. 29.11.08