Number 458 - 4th April 2009


Spoon, Jar, Jar, Spoon: The Two Sides of Tommy Cooper. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of Tommy Cooper's death, Rob Brydon explores two different sides to this unique British performer – his humour and love of magic. Tommy was keen to learn any trick that came on the market and was a regular visitor, in the Sixties and Seventies, to Davenport's Magic Shop in London's Charing Cross Road and Ken Brooke's Magic Place in Wardour Street. Throughout his career, Cooper was a member of the Magic Circle. Today's programme features the last interview with the late Ali Bongo, who gives an insight into the work of the "Circle" and how Cooper relished being a member and helped raise its profile. Cooper never lost his love and respect for the magician's craft, but was wise enough to recognise it was his humour and comic timing that found favour with the public. Listeners can also hear from escapologist and performer Alan Alan, who made sight gags and tricks specifically for Cooper's act. Additional contributors to the programme include Paul Daniels, Barry Cryer and Patrick Page. 11.30am on Tuesday 14th April on BBC Radio Four. 4.4.09


The Cambridge Pentacle Club's 90th Anniversary celebrations take place on Saturday 9th May, at Girtin College, Cambridge. The daytime magic extravaganza boasts lectures from star performers Geoffrey Durham, Alan Shaxon, Paul Kieve and William Houstoun and magic dealers Magic Books by Post, Practical Magic and the Card Collection will be displaying their wares. Tickets for the daytime event cost £35.00 from - but book early as places are strictly limited, and many seats have already been filled. The evening event is a formal dinner followed by a cabaret, starring Graham Jolley. Tickets for the dinner cost £40.00, also available from All friends of the Pentacle Club are welcome. For more info visit: 4.4.09


Blackpool Magicians' Club have just launched a great looking all-new website which includes details of the club's new headquarters, its history, Associate Membership information, the Blackpool Magicians’ Club Newsletter, the Convention, and much more... Over 3,500 visitors and more than 150 dealers from all parts of the globe attend the annual convention, organised by Derek Lever, every year - a Registration Form for the 2010 Blackpool Convention (19th - 21st February 2010) is now available to download from the site. Later this year an archive area will be added, featuring video clips, photo galleries and reviews of the Blackpool Magic Convention, over the past 57 years. If you would like to contribute to this archive Andrew Green,, would be delighted to hear from you. Visit today! 4.4.09


Joe Pasquale is in the driving seat on Friday April 10th, when he hosts 'The Paul O'Grady Show' in Paul O'Grady's absence. Joe's guests include Katherine Jenkins, Uri Geller and Melvyn Hayes. 5pm on Friday 10th April on Channel 4. See TV Magic. 4.4.09


Chris Cross is Escaping From Reality next month onwards, when he takes his original show to Bath, Brighton and finally Edinburgh. "Chris Cross is a contortionist and escapologist – I seem to remember a few freaky tricks involving dislocated shoulders and a straight jacket in there somewhere – but his real skill is in creating an atmosphere of complete lunacy which infects your mind and leaves you questioning whether the sane world still exists. To say he is a natural showman is a gross understatement – the 19-year-old has already been a street performer for a decade and appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, and can handle an audience like a piece of putty. His body-bending stunts merely provide a vehicle for a comedy act that’s as slick as it is screwball, delivered in an outrageous, Russell Brand-esque persona. All those who wandered into this pub cellar hoping for a bit of passable free entertainment found themselves stumbling back up the stairs an hour later in complete awe – some of them vowing never to speak of what had happened." Nuala Calvi, The Stage. See What's On for dates. 4.4.09


Chris Hare’s Amazing Mental Deal! Announcing two brand new mental effects from Chris Hare. Watch the video featuring “Where in the World?” and “Where Next?” on his website right now: Chris Hare's Harebrain Mentalism Lecture is now listed on our Lecturers page. Chris is the creator of Birthday Detector and the author of Sensational Memory and is able to offer your magic club an entertaining and informative lecture featuring powerful mental effects that can be performed using everyday items. Chris Hare has been a professional entertainer for over twenty years, during which time he performed his Hypnotic Show for a year in The Canary Islands, six nights a week. During the lecture he also teaches people how to increase their memory, more than, perhaps, they could ever possibly imagine. Contact Chris on 01784 453192 or email for more details. 4.4.09


Gregory Wilson is presenting a lecture at Edinburgh Magic Circle on Friday, April 10th. The lecture starts at 8pm. "This is a must-see lecture by one of the best magicians from the USA." Visiting magicians are most welcome for a fee of just £10.00. The venue is The Royal Scots Club, 30 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE (Map). See What's On for more dates, including The Devon Magic Circle on the 8th. 4.4.09


Mike Gancia was installed as the new President of the British Magical Society at their AGM on Tuesday, March 31st. It is the second time Mike has held this position. For information on the society visit 4.4.09


Cameron Francis' Killer Gaft Magic has just been released by Big Blind Media. The DVD features magic with gaffed cards, together with 18 sleights from BBM's 'Sleight School'. Eleven routines, sixteen gaffed cards (printed by the USPCC), and over two hours of content. Featuring: Pipeline, What The Blank, Tele-print, Boxy, Washout, Tele-Print, Side by Side, Switch Jack, What the Blank, The Following, Washout, Paan, Do the Wave, Halfusion, The Flying Four... together with those 18 sleights. Find out more, visit 4.4.09


An Evening of Metaphysical Magic, Friday 15th May, Birmingham. Join Dr Todd Landman for an evening of mystery entertainment that combines philosophy, history, politics, geography, and science with the magical and mystical arts in ways that explore the many hidden realms of human existence.... There are two shows: 7.30pm to 9pm and 9.15pm to 10.45pm (magicians who book for the second show can stay for a lecture). Tickets are £5.50 for either show, contact: Venue: The Shop, 25 Oak Tree Lane, Sell Oak, Birmingham B29 6JE (Map). 4.4.09


Hornchurch magician Barry Hicks ( joined the Havering Chamber of Commerce & Industry recently having been a regular performer at the Havering Business Awards. This led to an article being published in the Living Newspaper on 30th March 2009 – Havering Council’s fortnightly newspaper delivered to 103,000 households in the borough. For the full article Click Here and click on the PDF version of newspaper. 4.4.09 have added a new section to their site, entitled 'Your Cups', allowing Cups and Balls' performers and collectors to upload photos of the own kit/collections. The site also features a newsletter option so that you'll never miss an update, together with Cups and Balls Reviews, News and more. Visit: 4.4.09


Congratulations to Matt Pritchard, winner of the Stage Competition at the annual Fellowship of Christian Magicians UK conference last week. During the 5 day conference Matt also presented his award-winning fringe show "Futurology Live!" - a unique multimedia comedy that fuses magic, mentalism and silly pseudo-science. Conference lecturers included Max Somerset, Mark Shortland and Simon Williams. The close-up competition was won by Duncan Swan and the "Pete McCahon Comedy Award" went to Joe Ridgely. 4.4.09


Andy Taylor entertained VIP guests and theatre goers with close-up magic, pre and post-show, at the re-opening of the New Crucible Theatre in Sheffield a week last Thursday. The Crucible, famous for hosting the annual World Snooker Championships, has just completed phase one of its £15.3 million redevelopment. 4.4.09


The Nail Writer Anthology. Compiled and edited by Thomas Baxter. "This 165 page eBook is packed with routines and tips, and features a comprehensive history of what must be, ounce for ounce, the most powerful tool in the mentalist's arsenal." Thomas Baxter kindly sent through a copy - and it's excellent. Here's a link to order a copy (which, I think, under-sells the worth of this publication) Click Here (DT). 4.4.09


Jon Allen recently lectured and performed at the Israeli Society of Magicians convention, and then, the day he got home, flew off to Limerick for the Irish Magic Convention. (Now that's what I call a Bagel!) 4.4.09


The 'Care and Share' balloon fun days are back and in full swing, with the next event taking place in Exeter on Wednesday 22nd April from 10am to 6pm. "Come along and join in the fun at these very friendly and formative balloon modelling days - with three lectures throughout the day including one from the mystery lecturer. There are prizes to win in the fun competitions that go on during the day, including the one balloon challenge and the hat competition. More details can be found on the balloon chat forum," The day caters for all levels. As usual the day is sponsored by Sempertex Balloons. To find out more and to book visit 4.4.09


The Magic Collection of Jay Marshall - Part III, April 26th. "Most of the items in this auction - many of them scarce and genuinely rare, will be sold at no reserve. Visit to browse the catalogue and place your bids. A PDF-version of the catalogue will be available at the Potter & Potter website shortly. 4.4.09


"Billy Zane is the Magic Man" Click Here • "Interview: Ricky Jay" Click Here • "'The Great Buck Howard' lacks magic" Click Here • "Magic man Hugh Jackman" Click Here • "Now you see it...Owww you don’t" Click Here • "Brad revels in Mickey magic" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome, either use the red 'Submit' buttons (below) or simply email your news items. Please remember the Friday 12 noon deadline for the following Saturday. Have a magic week, Duncan. 4.4.09