Number 964 - 15th December 2018


Johnny Hart. 29th August 1943 - 10th December 2018. Johnny Hart's silent act will be treasured forever by a generation of magicians who grew up watching him on television, or 'caught up' with his act via a shared video tape. His influence on magicians growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s can't be underestimated. Here was a silent magician who broke the mould - he had charisma! (And his card manipulations and budgie productions were superb as well!) DT.


Johnny Hart is remembered by Steve Short: Click Here.


The funeral of Johnny Hart will take place on Friday 21st December at 10.15am at St Michaels & All Angels Church, 2 Edgerton Road, Preston PR2 1AJ followed by Preston Crematorium, Longridge Road, Preston PR2 5BY at 11.30am and then proceeding to the White Bull, Alston. All flowers to Martin's Funeral Directors, 188 Tulketh Brow, Preston PR2 2JJ. Donations to The Magic Circle. 15.12.18


A new series of The Magicians’ Podcast has just started. Richard Young's first guest is Paul Zerdin (winner of Season 10 of America’s Got Talent). As in previous years there will be a new episode every Friday and there will be a bit of an international feel to guests this time around. For Android users the good news is that the podcast is now available on Google Play Music and also Spotify in addition to the usual places of iTunes, Podbean and Stitcher. Also see 15.12.18


Magic Moments Update 2018 by Jay Fortune. This update continues the momentum of Magic Moments and also, I hope, inspires others to consider using their magic for altruistic means. 2018 has been a busy year for Magic Moments. Whilst raising money for charitable causes is an important and worthy goal for Magic Moments and for many magicians, this year the team and I have focused on bringing magic directly to those who our fund-raising efforts seek to support.

I designed a specialised magic set and workshop which catered for children with severe learning difficulties and disabilities. Many of these children have limited mobility, living with autism, epilepsy and other complex issues. I devised a magic set which the kids could create themselves, of which some were able, and then learn to perform the magic. One particular piece I was proud of was inspired by Robert E. Neale, with a simple origami model which is easy to construct and allows for many magical surprises. Bob not only granted us permission to reproduce his model for this specialist set, but also gave me his blessing to publish my changes and ideas which added an appearance of a magician within the model. As a long-time friend and fan of Bob’s work, this was a personal highlight for me.

The workshops were hosted by myself and magician Tim Osler and in 2018 we visited over 25 special needs schools, working with over 1000 students. Of the many inspiring moments, a personal highlight was the feedback from a teacher who had introduced us to one of their students who would not communicate. The same evening of our workshop, this student not only spoke - which we were told was a rarity - but came out of their shell and performed a magic show for the family.

We also visited a school for children who have been expelled and/or suffer from behavioural problems. This was very challenging. Gradually, we began to work with them by giving them something they could work on and develop to help them communicate, namely magic. (To read the full 2018 update, and to find out more about Magic Moments, Click Here).


The MagicWeek Video Archive. This week, the second show of John Fisher's The Magic Comedy Strip from 1992 starring The Pendragons, David Williamson, Jeff Hobson, Rudy Coby and Joe Pasquale. This show went out on March 30th. Number 3 next week. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with past weeks and the occasional 'bonus' video Click Here. 15.12.18


Young Magician of the Year Competition 2019. From the organiser: I know that Christmas will be taking up much of your time at present, but this is a brief reminder that The Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year Competition 2019 is coming soon. The Competition is open to young people between the ages of 14 and 18 with the Winner receiving not only the Title but also the Irving Schneider Award to attend a magic course in the U.S.A. and free Membership of The Magic Circle on reaching the age of 18. The closing date is 8th January 2019 and full details and entry form can be found at Overseas entrants will be permitted to submit a DVD of their act for the Heats (we already have one overseas entrant), but should they be selected for the Final they will need to appear in person on the day. I look forward to receiving your entry, or if you are more senior than entry age, that of your friend / pupil / fellow club member. Dr. Michael Colley M.I.M.C., Chairman, Young Magician of the Year Competition. 15.12.18


Tommy Cooper: In His Own Words, Tuesday 18th December, Channel 5. An affectionate look back at Tommy Cooper's life and career. Sir Michael Parkinson, Jimmy Tarbuck and Chris Tarrant and others reflect on what made Tommy Cooper one of the greatest ever entertainers. Colleagues talk about working with him, and his daughter Vicky reveals her feelings about her father. See TV Magic for details. 15.12.18


Prof Richard Wiseman has just published an academic paper reviewing the evidence that suggests there are lots of benefits to being a magician. The paper looks at the early work in the area (dating back to the First World War!) and then summarises all of the studies that have examined the psychological and physical benefits of teaching people magic (including patients, children). See: 15.12.18


Children’s Afternoon Magic Show, Thursday 27th December, London. From the organisers: Let your children enjoy the magic of Christmas! With top children’s entertainer Colonel Custard, and the last time to see the gorgeous visual magic of Scott Penrose. Tickets: £7 children, £9 adults, from The show starts at 2.30pm and runs to 4pm with an interval. It’s in the lovely function room of the Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Just 12 minutes from Central London by Tube. 15.12.18


Conjuring at the Court, Thursday 27th December, London. From the organisers: Enjoy Christmas with magic – and don’t miss it, as it’s the last time ever to see Scott Penrose’s wonderful manipulation act; he’s retiring it after this show. With lots of fun with the magic of Paul Megram, Stephen Barry, and gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo. Compère Russell Levinson. The show starts at 8pm and runs to 10pm with an interval. It’s in the lovely function room of the Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Come early to enjoy a meal before the show! Tickets still just £11 in advance from Just 12 minutes from Central London by Tube. Parking is free from 6.30pm. 15.12.18


Now You See Me 2, Saturday 15th December, Film4. Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman are among the returning cast of Jon Chu's sequel to the crime thriller about magicians who stage seemingly impossible heists. The previous movie saw the Four Horsemen - Danny Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder - emerge from nowhere, use perfectly crafted illusions to rob a Parisian bank, fleece an insurance magnate of hundreds of millions of dollars, shower their fans in cash... and then vanish again. But before disappearing they framed Thaddeus Bradley for their crimes. Now, the jailed former magician who publicly reveals how tricks are done, aims to exact revenge on the Horsemen. And Bradley may get his opportunity when the Horsemen - minus Reeves, who has been replaced by Lula May - eventually surface in the employ of a tech genius who needs to recover a stolen gadget that can decrypt and access all electronic devices. See TV Magic for details. 15.12.18


Justin Willman on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Thursday 20th December on ITV2. Benedict Cumberbatch tells us all about voicing The Grinch in the animated version of the Dr Seuss story. Megastar Cher joins Ellen for a game of 5 Second Rule. Yara Shahidi talks about her role in the film Small Foot. Magician Justin Willman talks about his Netflix show, Magic for Humans. See TV Magic for details. 15.12.18


The December Mark Leveridge Podcast. Mark Leveridge writes: At some point this month you are hopefully going to have some relaxation time, and so I would like to recommend that you sit back for half an hour and listen to my latest podcast. As always I have provided a varied assortment of topics, as follows. How do you define the difference between a close up competition and a stand up magic competition? : changes in the average attention span of spectators can have an effect on the type of magic we need to present : it seems that some people are suffering from magic fatigue : I really enjoy spending some time with Paul Gordon putting the magic world to rights : is the Christmas rush still a rush? : I consider the John Bannon assertion that maybe the stereotypical close up worker may need to change what he does in order to remain bookable. You can get your free access to this latest edition, as well as all the other 71 recordings, by going to, or you can also listen online or download to any mp3 player from where you can also sign up as a follower and receive each new podcast automatically when it is released on the 1st of each month. I look forward to chatting with you soon. 15.12.18


Devin Knight - A Lifetime In Magic. Magicseen write: Magicseen Publications are delighted to be the publishers of some of the best mental routines around from a performer who has many years experience of what it takes to fool and entertain the public. The second volume of the Devin Knight trilogy has just been released and it contains a strong set of over 20 reputation making ideas that you are bound to use if mentalism is your thing. Volume 1 is also still available, and as a Christmas Gift to all our customers we would like to offer the first volume at half price if you purchase it together with the new second volume. Simply purchase the two books together from and we will then refund you 50% of the cost of the first book. This offer will close on Friday 21st December 2018, so be quick with your order and hopefully you will receive both books in time for Christmas. 15.12.18


Magicians of Basingstoke Chain of Office found. Kate Haigh writes: "My mother has just come across the Magicians of Basingstoke presidential medal with all the presidents on. Do you know if anyone might be interested in it? Picture attached." To contact Kate email: 15.12.18


Exhibition of Photographic Illusions Now Open! We’re delighted to announce the launch of our free photographic illusion exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and The Museum of Childhood. One year in development working with magician Prof Richard Wiseman and the super talented, energetic and all round wonderful bunch at Edinburgh Young Carers - Now You See It Now You Don't is a mind-bending collection of impossible photos from around Edinburgh, taken by amazing photographer Julie Howden. Each photograph features young carers (aged 5-17) doing what they do every day of their lives - making the seemingly impossible possible. Enjoy the illusions at the Storytelling Centre, and come backstage to find out how illusions were created and learn more about the Edinburgh Young Carers at the Museum of Childhood. Running now till the end of January 2019. See for details. 15.12.18


Paul Gordon Lecture now booking. Last Saturday Paul Gordon and Scott Penrose took to the Jeff McBride Stage in Kent to perform at a black tie event. Host and compère Paul Craven said it was one of the best nights they'd had at the venue. "Paul Gordon performed a pacy half-hour card set and Scott Penrose thrilled with his automata and mentalism." To watch Paul Gordon's card set see YouTube. Paul is now taking bookings for his 'Impromptu Entertaining (and 'doable') Card Magic lecture 2019' "It is rare to see a magician who can entertain an audience that much with just a deck of cards. But Paul Gordon is one of them! His shows are as funny as the magic he performs is strong. Paul perfectly knows what the spectators enjoy and deliver it to them with great humour and killer effects." Boris Wild. See the MagicWeek Lecturers page for full details. 15.12.18


Storytelling Magic in Norwich, Norfolk. David Fung, Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, appears in The Maddermarket Theatre’s Christmas family show, James and the Giant Peach, this Christmas. David plays a wizard alongside nine other cast members. The faithful retelling of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s tale promises magic, music, singing, storytelling, fun and plenty of surprises. Running until 31st December, matinee and evening performance tickets are available, with family ticket discounts, from, or in person at the box office. Also see 15.12.18


The Anglian Magic Society Social Night. This Tuesday, 18th December, join The Anglian Magic Society for a relaxed evening away from the mad rush of Christmas with a chance to catch up with magic friends and colleagues in this social night with a twist. Bring along magic props to swap or interesting items from your collection to show and tell, or both! It’s a fun way to learn more and share interesting information from our crazy and fascinating world of magic. Members £3.00, Visitors £10.00. 7.30pm at The White Horse Inn, The Street, Trowse, Norwich NR14 8ST (Map). Steve Majes MMC. 15.12.18


'Twas the Night Before Christmas, read by celebrities, speakers and magicians Ben Hanlin, Troy and Jamie Raven: 15.12.18


The Magic of Variety, 2nd March 2019, Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne. From the organisers: A night of absolute variety, this one-off show is for all the family. So, prepare to be amazed and to laugh out loud with some of the best acts in the UK today. The Magic of Variety is in aid of Neuroblastoma UK, a charity funding crucial research into an aggressive childhood cancer Neuroblastoma. Starring international comedy magician Richie Austin. Richie has put this show together in aid of Neuroblastoma UK and in memory of his niece, Gemma, who lost her fight with Neuroblastoma cancer in 2007 and has raised tens of thousands for the charity since 2006. Richie himself performs all across the world performing in venues from Eastbourne to Egypt and is one of the most popular comedy magicians on the circuit. Richie provides audiences with bamboozling magic fused with toe tapping music and a twist of comedy. Richie makes his welcome return to the Royal Hippodrome after his 2014 Summer Season There's Magic in The Music. Also featuring Britain's Got Talent Finalist Steve Hewlett and The Spellbound Show (Tracie Hughes & Jenifer Bentley). 7pm on 2nd March 2019 at Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112 Seaside Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3PF. Tickets available from also see 15.12.18


"Branson's Virgin Galactic successfully reaches space" (but there's no sign of David Copperfield! For those that remember, from 2006: Back Issue 301). 15.12.18


"Half magic, half comedy, all dragon: Piff the Magic Dragon coming to Sioux Falls" Click Here • "Watch magician Criss Angel torment Korn's Jonathan Davis in new 'Mindfreak' video" Click Here • "Abracadabra! Pittsburgh magician’s theater hopes to reach out and grab you" Click Here • "Magician Drummond Money-Coutts specializes in death" Click Here • "Death by Magic: Tricks never die" Click Here • "Award-winning illusionist to perform at Egyptian Theatre" Click Here • "America's Got Talent Winner & The Illusionists Star Shin Lim Ride of Fame Induction Ceremony" Click Here • "This absorbing succession of illusions is excellent pre-Christmas fare" Click Here • As always your magic news is very welcome. See you next week, Duncan. 15.12.18