Number 930 - 21st April 2018


This year's Britain's Got Talent got off to an amazing start with Marc Spelmann getting Ant & Dec's Golden Buzzer (meaning Marc is straight through to the live shows) with a routine that baffled and captured hearts, and Matt Johnson with a genuinely dangerous escape that will also see him in the live shows I'm sure. Huge congratulations to both performers. Here's what some of the papers said:

"Marc Spelmann gets the first Golden Buzzer of 2018" YouTube.
"Here’s what else Britain’s Got Talent magician Marc Spelmann can do"

"The incredible magician's act that left an audience in tears"
"Ant McPartlin broke down in tears on Britain’s Got Talent after contestant’s IVF struggle hit home"
"Britain’s Got Talent magician Marc Spelmann leaves viewers stunned as his daughter guesses what Phil and Holly are thinking on This Morning"


"Matt Johnson has Judges holding their breath in fear!" YouTube.

"What is Britain’s Got Talent 2018 escapologist Matt Johnson going to do next?"
"Escaping death. Britain’s Got Talent’s illusionist Matt Johnson admits underwater act was the closest he’s ever been to death"
"Britain's Got Talent: Daredevil escapologist Matt Johnson reveals he was inspired by brother's battle with rare brain disease"


Kevin Quantum's 'And For My Next Trick', 27th April, Southbank Festival, London. Magician-scientist hybrid Kevin Quantum makes his London debut next week with his comedy sketch magic production 'And For My Next Trick'. This fast-paced show has more blow-your-brains tricks than you can shake a wand at and will make you laugh. Nominated at the Scottish Comedy Awards and awarded 'Best Magic' at the 2018 Adelaide Fringe, Kevin Quantum will rock your socks off, and you won't even have to take off your shoes.
"Comic genius or daring magic wonder of the world" ★★★★★ (
"Part science, part magic, part comedy, all genius" ★★★★★ (Cream Magazine).
"Bewildering sleight of hand" ★★★★ (Herald).
27th April 2018, 9.15pm, Southbank Festival. Tickets:


SAMS Convention 2018. From the organisers: It is now less than a week until the start of the 2018 SAMS convention which will be taking place at The Normandy Hotel, Renfrew, on 27th, 28th and 29th April. The Saturday Night Dinner Cabaret features: 2017 SAMS Stage competition winner Elliot Bibby, singer, comedian and musician Gordon Cree, and all the way from the USA, we are delighted to welcome Jeff McBride and Larry Hass. Compere: Harry Robson. Lecturers: Jeff McBride and Larry Hass will both be lecturing over the weekend and they will also be holding a tribute to Eugene Burger on the Friday evening. We are delighted to welcome Harry Robson back to SAMS and he will also be providing a lecture. Dealers: Harry Robson, Adrian Harris, Alan Duncan and Jimmy Craig. Hotel Rooms: Please contact our secretary Elizabeth McNamara or 01563 821241. Registrations: Our Registration Secretary this year is Janet Colvan Registration forms can be downloaded from To anyone intending on coming please let Janet know as soon as possible as the hotel require advance numbers for the "dinner cabaret" and the "farewell lunch". The committee look forward to welcoming “old friends and new” to what will be a magical weekend. 21.4.18


Rabbit and Revelations with Bruce Smith. Congratulations are in order as Bruce Smith, Marvin’s Magic Demonstration Training Manager, is enjoying a very special anniversary at Hamleys. Bruce has been entertaining the crowds at Hamleys for 30 years and has helped to inspire magicians of tomorrow. Marvin’s Magic has always been a pioneer of in-store theatre, combining compelling demonstrations with remarkable sales. Bruce has played a big part in this, working closely with Marvin to ensure that the Marvin’s Magic demonstrators have that extra special sparkle which guarantees to put smiles and wonderment on faces.

In celebration, Marvin who is also the Vice-President of The Magic Circle, interviewed Bruce in front of a packed Magic Circle audience during his regular 'Rabbit and Revelations' quick-fire interview segment, which celebrates talent, diversity and creativity. They spoke about how he has probably done more live magic than any other magician in Britain, having demonstrated at Hamleys Regent Street for 30 years. His many celebrity customers have included Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and Michael Jackson. For the hundreds of thousands of children he has inspired, the hundreds of demonstrator magicians he has trained and the dozens of professionals he has inspired, Marvin described him in three words: 'Perceptive - Unique - Royalty' and presented him with special commemorative gifts to mark the occasion.


Northern Magic Summit. Northern Magic Circle Secretary Brian Lead writes: At the Northern Magic Summit, held in Newcastle last weekend, Richard Cadell joined Debbie McGee as an Honorary Vice President of the NMC. Also honoured, with Hon Life Vice Presidency, was Hedley Fawcett, who joined the NMC just a few months after its inception in 1956 and performed the first open-air stunt in Harrogate. Chris Stewart, representing Leeds Magic Circle, won the John Pye Close-up Trophy, while Tony Noon was awarded the Eric Bland Trophy for his contributions to the Northern Lights magazine; both of these winners being decided by members’ votes. It was a packed weekend with lectures, dealers, competitions, an archive exhibition and two shows in the historic Tyne Theatre. At the end of it all Rick Tynan handed over the President’s chain to Stuart Clarkson, whose first job was to welcome his own son, Rhys, as our youngest ever Junior member, celebrating his eleventh birthday at the convention! Donald Bevan reviews the entire Northern Magic Summit this week, Click Here. 21.4.18


Jeff McBride and Larry Hass lecture at the Manchester Circle of Magicians on Tuesday 24th April. William Booth writes: Experts at Stage and Close-up magic; it's sure to be a great evening. With magic, showmanship and storytelling what more could you ask for. Visitors are welcome with prior approval from the President and a charge of £5.00 on the night. For more information and details visit our website or email 21.4.18


Alan Maskell, long serving Cambridge Pentacle Club secretary retires. Alan has created a record that will probably never be beaten: 22 years non-stop as the Pentacle Club secretary. In addition to his work with the Pentacle Club, Alan is well known in the world of magic for his performing and lectures, as well as for work with The Magic Circle and the IBM British Ring. Alan retired from his Pentacle post at the AGM on 17th April. On behalf of past and present members Chris Kostecki voiced our appreciation for all Alan has done. The Club surprised Alan by presenting him with a plaque to mark his time as secretary. Our new secretary is Hugh Newsam who can be reached via Who knows whether Hugh will still be secretary in 2040! John Davenport. 21.4.18


Jeff McBride and Lawrence Hass Eugene Burger Legacy Tour - York Society of Magicians, Wednesday 25th April. Adrian Salamon writes: York Society of Magicians will be hosting a very special lecture on April 25th at our venue at The Red Lion, Poppleton, Boroughbridge Road, Upper Poppleton, York YO26 6PR (Map). We have got the legend that is Jeff McBride as well as Lawrence Hass presenting their lecture on the legacy of Eugene Burger. This is not to be missed. Tickets £15. Email to reserve your place and arrange payment. Limited availability so book now! Wednesday 25th April at 7pm. 21.4.18


Magic Cruise. Magic takes to the high seas in August when a host of top magicians entertain on Cruise & Maritime's luxurious flagship Columbus, during a magic-themed 13-night cruise from Tilbury, London to St Petersburg, departing August 11th. This family-friendly round trip, featuring gala shows and workshops, stars John Archer, Paul Wilson, The Great Nardini and baffling double act Fifth Dimension and Malin. For details call 0844 963 0000 or visit Neil Bonner, showbiz cruise ship lecturer and member of the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians. 21.4.18


Kevin Cunliffe lecture, Bolton Magic Club. Paul Goodman writes: Bolton Magic Club presents Kevin Cunliffe's lecture. Kevin has been performing professionally for almost 35 years. Over this time he has won many awards for his performances. Kevin has appeared with the Circus of Horrors and on the BBC. Now it is your chance to see this not to be missed performer. Kevin will be including many of his working close-up routines, which he has been using daily for over 10 years. Also, many of his never revealed routines including many impromptu routines that can be used for both close-up and stage. Doors open at 8.30pm on Wednesday 25th April at The Doffcocker Inn, 780 Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 5QD (Map). Visiting magicians from other societies are most welcome. There will be an entrance fee £10.00 for non-members. 21.4.18


40 Years in show business! Jonathan Royle writes: Yes, indeed it's true I am celebrating my 40th year in this crazy business we call show. Some photographic memories, videos and a biography spanning four decades can be seen here: Facebook. 21.4.18


Pro Show Magic lecture, Blackpool Magicians' Club, 26th April. From  the organisers: The Pro Show Magic lecture will be presented by full time professional magicians Gary James and Ricky McLeod. Over the past 20 years, the duo have teamed up at many events, including the F1 in Bahrain for the past 2 years, performing onboard the Orient Express, over 100 performances at the world famous Gleneagles Hotel, and 8 years of performing at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival, not including the hundreds of weddings, corporate events and family shows. The Pro Show Lecture has been well received by numerous magical organisations and is a mixture of ideas for the presentation of new effects, as well as a few twists on some classic effects. They will also be discussing and demonstrating some of Pro Show Magic’s new products. Thursday 26th April 'The Pro Show Magic Lecture' Blackpool Magicians' Club, 56-60 Caunce Street, Blackpool FY1 3NE (Map). For booking info email 21.4.18


The Twins FX, based in Wareham, Dorset, are proud winners of another award this month. The Twins FX were nominated for 2018's Best Special Effect at The Great British Panto Awards in London. The award-winning special effect made by The Twins FX was the big red Flying London Bus (see last week) that wowed Dick Whittington audiences at the London Palladium during the pantomime season 2017/18. They also won this award last year for the spectacular ‘Upside Down Carpet’ in Cinderella at the London Palladium and are pleased to have repeated the success this year.

Paul, Creative Director, describes the magical creations by The Twins FX team in Wareham: "We have pioneered flying in recent years, with a bespoke system 'Flying without Wires'. We are a one-stop shop and do everything ourselves: designing, creating/building and delivering the wow factor. We make the impossible... possible!" The Twins FX have a core team of 6, but at their busiest, there are as many as 30 model makers, painters and engineers working away in their workshops.


Jonathan Royle's ESP. From the organisers: Bizarre comedy mind reader and belly button reading psychic entertainer Jonathan Royle has just been added to the line up of artistes, comedians and bands performing at the Byline Festival. He will present his 45 minute show "Egg, Sausage & Peas" in the Forest Forum to over a 1,000 people on Friday 24th August. Other names appearing include: Alexi Sayle, Hugh Grant, The Priscillas, The Blow Monkeys, Fly Circus from New Orleans, and comedy legend John Cleese among numerous others. Full details of this 4 day event are at 21.4.18


Wessex Magical Association Convention 2019. Next year's convention will take place on Sunday 7th April 2019 at The Hub, Verwood, Dorset BH31 7QE (Map). 21.4.18


The MagicWeek Video Archive. This week, Paul Daniels, with some 'Extra Sensory Deception' from 13th December, 1986. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with past weeks and the occasional 'bonus' video Click Here. 21.4.18


"Dynamo's Crohn's disease battle: Magician 'doesn't want to be defined' by his illness as he puts career on hold during recovery" Click Here • "Harry Anderson, magician and star of 'Night Court,' dies at 65" Click Here • "Illusionist Rick Thomas: ‘Nothing happens until you dream’" Click Here • "Derren's act is a mystery to us all" Click Here • "Illusionist Jay Owenhouse returns to Prescott" Click Here • "Illusionist Copperfield takes stand in tourist injury case" Click Here • "David Copperfield forced to reveal secret of vanishing trick as he is sued by British audience member" Click Here • Chris North's 'Cavalcade of Wonders' is reviewed by Steve Majes this week, Click Here • "David Blaine: No stunt in my show is a guarantee" Click Here • "‘Peep Show’ Creator Andrew O’Connor Lists Eclectic Contemporary in L.A.’s Brentwood" Click Here • The sun's shining, at last! Hope you are reading this in the garden... many thanks for all your news items, see you next week, Duncan. 21.4.18