Number 535 - 25th September 2010


Svengali - The all-new Derren Brown show, goes on tour in 2011. Derren's live work continues to dazzle. The 2011 tour promises an all-new show, then in 2012 the plan is to take the same show to previously unvisited theatres. See What's On for more info. "Derren Brown: Hero at 30,000 Feet" Click Here. 25.9.10


The Magicians. Saturday nights, BBC One.

From the BBC press office (decided to run this one "as is" DT).

It was announced today [21st September] that BBC One will put magic back on Saturday nights for the first time in nearly two decades and at a scale never seen before, with the commission of a new entertainment spectacular from Shine TV. The Magicians sees three of the magic world's most currently successful practitioners, both critically and at the box office, do battle for five weeks in early 2011 in the world of magic's first competitive competition on UK screens.

Against the stunning backdrop of a specially-created set on Pinewood Studios, each Magician will perform with a different celebrity partner each week; with the three pairs performing illusions from the classic to the never-attempted-before and adapting their respective roles as the challenge or trick dictates. The Magicians will be pushed to excel beyond their own favoured speciality, be it escapology, illusion or sleight of hand card tricks, as the tournament will throw weekly challenges and themes designed to best test the competitors' originality, ingenuity and ambition with many large scale stunts set to be attempted.

Just as audiences in theatres have shown their approval or otherwise for the art of illusion through the centuries, only the studio audience will determine which magician is victorious each week and ultimately triumphs across the weeks. There are no judges and no phone lines. The same three magicians battle each week – those that amaze the audience most will win, whereas the pair that receive the least applause will be asked to close the show with an uncomfortable, dangerous or impossible forfeit of a trick that no-one will want to tackle.

Commissioned by BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Mark Linsey, The Magicians will be produced by Shine TV, makers of BBC One hits Merlin and MasterChef, and executive produced by Karen Smith, joint Managing Director of Shine TV, and launch producer of Strictly Come Dancing. Host and further format details will be revealed at a later date. In addition, viewers at home will be able to both enjoy and learn interactively via a series of exclusive tricks and step-by-step guides to give budding magicians an introduction to the art.

Mark Linsey said: "The Magicians is a bold, big scale entertainment show that will bring the best of the latest crop of amazing illusionists to a wide audience for the first time, in a head-to-head contest. It is family viewing at its best and we're delighted to be bringing it to the BBC and to Saturday nights." Karen Smith said: "The Magicians will astound, amaze and amuse. It will look like nothing seen before it, a truly spectacular Spectacular."


"BBC aiming to put the magic back into Saturday night TV" Click Here. "You'll like this! BBC revives Saturday night magic show after 20 years" Click Here. Jana Bennett, Director, BBC Vision, talks to Victoria Derbyshire about The Magicians on 5 Live (from about 6 minutes in) Click Here. 25.9.10


Channel Five Commissions Magic Game Show. Channel Five has commissioned a six-episode run for Impossible?, a new entertainment game show co-produced by Gogglebox Entertainment and GroupM Entertainment that features internationally renowned illusionist and mind-reader Philip Escoffey. Each episode watches as a couple goes head to head with Escoffey in a battle of wits that exposes their logic, nerve and faith in each other. Throughout the course of the show, Escoffey will promise increasingly spectacular and seemingly impossible challenges. The couple must determine whether what he proposes is absolutely possible or very much impossible. Greg Barnett, the commissioning editor of entertainment, daytime and soaps at Channel Five, said: "Impossible? is an unusual and intriguing format, combining all the elements of a high stakes game show with the spectacle of magic and illusion. I’m delighted to have secured it for Channel Five..." To read the full article by Kristin Brzoznowski in Click Here. "It's all in the mind: mind reader Philip Escoffey" Click Here. 25.9.10


Michael Ammar Lecture Tour 2010.  Michael's 2010 UK lecture tour kicks off in Surrey on Tuesday, September 28th - see What's On for tour dates and details. 25.9.10


Sleights of Mind: What the neuroscience of magic reveals about our brains by Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknick. "What can magic tell us about ourselves and our daily lives? If you subtly change the subject during an uncomfortable conversation, did you know you’re using attentional ‘misdirection’, a core technique of magic? And if you’ve ever bought an expensive item you’d sworn never to buy, you were probably unaware that the salesperson was, like an accomplished magician, a master at creating the ‘illusion of choice’. In Sleights of Mind, leading neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde meet with magicians from all over the world to explain how the magician’s art sheds light on consciousness, memory, attention, and belief. As the founders of the new discipline of NeuroMagic, they combine cutting-edge scientific research with startling insights into the tricks of the magic trade, showing how the world’s greatest masters of deception turn the brain’s faculties against itself. By understanding how magic manipulates the processes in our brains, we can better understand how we work – in fields from law and education to marketing, health and psychology – for good and for ill." Hardcover, 288 pages, to be published by Profile Books on 18th November. To pre-order from Click Here. 25.9.10


Jasper Blakeley - finalist at 'The Next Big Thing'. Last week South Wales-based character magician, Jasper Blakeley, got through to the finals at the Birmingham NEC, of the national talent competition 'The Next Big Thing'. Staged annually by Event UK, the promotional body for event companies, the contest aims to find fresh entertainment talent for the corporate industry. Despite beating 300 semi professional and professional acts, including jugglers, singers, dancers and magicians, Jasper's Russian alter ego, 'Kockov' narrowly missed out in the final to a Frank Sinatra singer after a public vote of 52% to 48%. If you want to watch Jasper in action, you can see him today, and every Saturday for the next 20 weeks, as he starts his new family entertainment contract with Cardiff City football team performing to crowds of around 500. Jasper pulls no punches with his unique and edgy style magic. 25.9.10


Magic Night - Friday 1st October. "Magic Night floats like a butterfly as we make a member of the audience levitate, then we’ll be escaping from beautiful bonds, making heads disappear and birds appear where violins should be whilst a fat ballerina dances! Sean Heydon will be making one of you lose touch with the ground and levitate in the air, whilst the breathtakingly sexy trickster, Romany Diva whips up a conjuring storm, really, magic never looked so good! Oliver Tabor, messes with your eyes, making you ask 'Is it a bird? Is it a violin?' Yep, it’s both and at the same time. Meanwhile Madame Galina floats like a butterfly whilst searching for her Nureyev. All expertly managed by master conjurer, Christian Lee..." Showtime 7.45pm (doors open at 7pm). Tickets: £12 (or £22 including meal) or 08444 77 1000. Madame JoJo’s, 8-10 Brewer Street, London W1F 0SP (Map). Tube: Piccadilly Circus. 020 7734 3040 - More info: 5.9.10


Think Pink Magic are now advertising with MagicWeek. Owner, Stephen Owen writes: "The idea behind Think Pink Magic was born several years ago when I became disillusioned with the pricing and quality of some of the effects on the market at that time. I became very selective about the items I bought, as I’m sure many seasoned magicians are. My concept is simple; sell the magic that I would be willing to buy. Offering good quality magic, at reasonable prices. If the package says 'it’s a jaw dropper' and it isn’t, then Think Pink Magic won’t stock it. Think Pink Magic is also offering a unique 'buy back' scheme. Magicians who have brand new, unused magical items that have been lying around for ages (and we all have some) and are still in the original packaging, will have the chance to sell these to Think Pink Magic. These will be sold at a small mark up (to cover admin costs) on the website. These will not be sold as new, but will be sold in the 'buy back' section at discounted prices for the thrifty. It’s a chance for magicians to earn some extra cash from items that have been lying around, and hopefully save a few marriages in the process. Terms and conditions are on the website." Visit today! 25.9.10


Mark Lewis. News from International Magic: "The well known and sometimes controversial hypnotist and mentalist Mark Lewis is presenting a special extended lecture/course covering a subject for which he is renowned - ‘Psychic and Cold Readings'. Since 1987, Mark has done thousands of readings, written newspaper astrology columns and appeared at hundreds of Psychic Fairs. During this time, he’s received much acclaim for his ‘psychic gifts’. He’s now making a trip over from Canada for International Magic (where he first started his career around 45 years ago) to lecture on this specialized subject. As Mark has a lot of information to impart, his lecture will be split over two nights. This may be the only chance many of you will get to see this incredible "man of mystery!" so we have persuaded Mark to repeat the course and provide a further opportunity to see him. The first course is on the evenings of Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th October. It is then repeated on the evenings of Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th October. Venue – as usual 2nd floor at ‘Casa Italiana’, 136 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5DL (Map). All evenings are planned to start at 7.30pm and finish approx 9.45pm. Price is £40 per person for either pair of evenings, payable at the door. If you wish to book for either of these courses, please let me know as soon as possible, email or telephone 020 7405 7324." 25.9.10


Only one week to go until Magic Moments Day, and there’s still time to arrange something, no matter how big or small. Every magician can be a part of this exciting and rewarding day. And, if you’ve left it too late to raise last minute funds, don’t worry! Why not perform in a local hospital ward, old people’s home, hospice, shelter… …there are many charities and voluntary societies out there always eager for help and able to assist you with planning a Magic Moment to brighten someone’s day on Saturday 2nd October. Our free downloadable info pack contains information to get you thinking, Click Here for more details. And if you wish, let us know what you’re up to: Jay Fortune. 25.9.10


Brunchtime at Piffany’s. This weekend sees the launch of Brunchtime at Piffany’s, Piff the Magic Dragon’s weekend residency at Circus restaurant in Covent Garden. From 12noon-3pm each Saturday and Sunday, Piff will be hosting the tastiest brunch in town and performing his inimitable grumpy dragon magic. Joined by Mr Piffles, the world’s most magical Chihuahua, Piff will also be awarding points and prizes to those diners who make a special effort 25.9.10


Manuel Muerte lectures for The Academy of Magic this Monday (27th) from Davenports Magic Studio, London: "Come down to the world famous shop from 7pm or watch the whole lecture live online from 7pm on Previous lectures include Hayashi, Anthony Jacquin and James Brown - now all available on The Academy to watch on demand." 25.9.10


Mark Leveridge's next Dealer Night, which takes place at the Holiday Inn, Winchester on Sunday 10th October, features a mini lecture in which Mark will perform and explain three new routines. There's a commercial colour changing deck routine designed for walkabout work, a coin matrix based on a sneaky premise which has a surprise ending, and a fabulous new plot using a spectator's borrowed ring that you are just going to want to add to your repertoire. All this plus a full display of Mark Leveridge Magic and Magicseen products with plenty of time to browse and watch demonstrations, a 30 minute dealer dem of the latest releases, three prizes worth up to £10, £20 and £30, and best of all perhaps, everything will be sold at 10% off the normal price! Pre-register and you will receive a Credit Voucher to the value of the entry fee to put towards your purchases on the night, which means that as long as you turn up, your entry is effectively free! For more information and to register now, visit 25.9.10


Escapology and the History of Handcuffs. Paul Abbey presents, for the first time, a full evening lecture on Escapology and the History of Handcuffs. Paul, who has performed an escape routine on stage at The Magic Circle, will be presenting various escapes and discussing the history and performance of this particular art. This will be a "hands-on" evening with participation from those attending. Paul's lecture includes serious and comedy routines. The lecture will be on Wednesday, October 6th at 8pm at the South Downs Magicians, Handcross Parish Hall, High Street, Handcross, West Sussex RH17 6BJ (Map). £5 for non-members. Further details at 25.9.10


Jeff McBride and Mario Morris team up to deliver a Master Class focusing Street Magic. "Students will meet some of the top street magicians on the circuit, attend special lectures on Street Magic, and even get a chance to perform close-up, or on the platform stage… and get feedback, too! The evenings will have the option of students either performing street magic on Las Vegas Boulevard, or the many high-tech nightclubs that Las Vegas nightlife has to offer." The three-day event will take place in Las Vegas on October 8th, 9th and 10th. Here is a chance to learn about the art of street performing. There are only a few places left so if you'd like to take part book now!" 25.9.10


The Coventry Magic Circle is pleased to announce that on Tuesday 12th October their lecturer will be The Magic Circle's Close-up Magician of the Year for 2010, Matthew Garrett. All fellow magicians welcome for the usual fee. Then on Tuesday 9th November you are invited to join them for their 'Sale of Props' night - "come and buy more stuff you thought you never needed - never to repeated prices!" 25.9.10


Bob Wooding - Manchester Care & Share Day. "A special treat awaits those that are attending the next Care & Share Day that is taking place in Manchester on Thursday 7th October. Bob Wooding has been booked to make a special appearance to present two 45 minute hands-on lecture/workshop sessions, plus a talk on his Thunderbird Act which is possibly the best balloon act ever. Bob has toured all over the world with this act for many years so will have plenty of tales and thoughts to pass on. It’s a stunning act. There will also be a basic beginner’s workshop on the day and if time permits some fun competitions as well. The days are now sponsored by Qualatex Balloons." For more details and to book visit 25.9.10


"Great news I thought; a parcel through the door from good old Wayne Fox. Bad news; it was a one-move DVD. I’m of the old school of learning by book, but after watching Wayne explain the Flick-Drift move in detail, I must admit to feeling that this move could only have worked as a DVD. Wayne and I share the occasional pasta, coffee, green-tea and banter when we catch up a few times throughout the year. At our last soirée Wayne made a card appear under his empty hand. I paid the bill..." To read Jay Fortune's full review of The Flick-Drift with Wayne Fox, Click Here. 25.9.10


Join Dr Todd Landman and Evie Harris on Friday October 1st for an engaging and thought-provoking evening at Treadwells Bookshop near Covent Garden, London. Evie will be performing her beguiling Magic of Childhood followed by Moments of Enchantment from Dr Todd's theatre show. Tickets are £10; the show starts at 7.30pm. Visit for more info. 25.9.10


Steve Cook lectures at The Magic Lounge, Magick Enterprises, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, at 7.30pm on Friday 15th October. 'Psychological Subtleties & Devious Ruse' is Steve's first lecture for a number of years, and will be his only lecture this year. "It is a 'one-off' to celebrate his 60th birthday and will incorporate close-up magic, mental magic, and magic suitable for parlour, stage and corporate events. The accent will be on comedy, and the magic itself strong, direct, simple, off-beat, entertaining and above all... usable!" Contact Russell Hall for further details on 0114 276 0482 or email:"Any of Steve's routines can make your reputation!" Steve Jones. 25.9.10


"Paul Kieve to Provide Illusions for Menier Chocolate Factory's The Invisible Man" Click Here • "Tickets on Sale for The Invisible Man at the Menier" Click Here • "Quentin Reynolds on BBC Radio 5" Click Here • The Magic Cavern started its 8th Year at the Barons Court Theatre in London on September 21st, see What's On • "Jus' Like That! at the Lamb Theatre" Click Here • Thanks for your news! Have a great weekend, see you next week, Duncan. 25.9.10