Number 966 - 29th December 2018


David Berglas has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to Magic and Psychology in the New Year Honours List. David Berglas, 92, said: "I am delighted to accept this honour but even more pleased that the art of magic has at last been recognised. I have spent over 60 years entertaining people in person, on radio and television - 'reading their minds' - but I certainly didn’t see this one coming."

David Berglas has been an inspiration to magicians worldwide. On hearing of the award Derren Brown said: "This honour recognises one of our greatest living magical performers. Generations of magicians owe him a debt of gratitude. Each of my shows is indebted to his artistry and astonishing body of work. I thank him for his constant inspiration."

The Magic Circle president Scott Penrose said: "I am sure our members both in the UK and around the world will join me in congratulating David Berglas on receiving this award, which recognises his immense contribution to magic. As our former president he was deeply involved in the successful development of our permanent HQ in London. His influence on magic and magicians has been profound for over 60 years and many magicians owe him a real debt of gratitude."

David Berglas’ extraordinary career started in the 50s. Six weeks at the Windmill Theatre in London in 1953 was followed by a whirlwind tour of variety theatres where he often topped the bill. He became a household name with his regular performances on radio, conducting "Nationwide Psychological Experiments" involving millions of listeners. He received the largest collection of fan mail ever for a BBC radio series. In the 70s he hosted a late-night phone-in programme on LBC. He had his own BBC television show "Meet David Berglas" in 1954 which had an audience of over 19 million and then hosted the first ever commercial TV series in 1955. In the 80s his series "The Mind of David Berglas" on Channel 4 entertained celebrity guests such as Omar Sharif, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee.

Dubbed the "International Man of Mystery" David Berglas was renowned for creating big stunts - among them, driving a car blindfold around central London, hurtling blindfold down the Cresta Run, stopping the traffic - and people - in Piccadilly Circus. He also confounded the magical profession with his pulse stopping routine and with his ability to persuade strangers to levitate a heavy table. His version of the Any Card at Any Number routine has been known for many years as the Berglas Effect and magicians consider this the holy grail of card magic. He has also acted as a creative consultant on many major films, most notably five Bond movies.

David Berglas has entertained most members of the Royal Family and a host of celebrities including Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson. At one time he was the opening act for the Rolling Stones.

In the magic world David Berglas has received most major international honours. He was President of The Magic Circle from 1989-1998 and helped revitalise the society. During his tenure The Magic Circle admitted women as members, established The Young Magicians Club and acquired and refurbished the old warehouse in Euston that became their first permanent HQ. David Berglas named it "The Centre for the Magic Arts". He has helped raise huge amounts for charity and was voted King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats, the world’s leading show business charity.


[Wonderful news to start the New Year with. Many congratulations David! DT]. 29.12.18


15 not-boring questions with... Drummond Money-Coutts. "On the occasion of Drummond Money-Coutts' new Netflix show, Death By Magic, in which he performs illusions which have previously killed magicians, we invited him to answer 15 questions that are actually interesting..." See 29.12.18


Matt Edmondson is known to the public as a Radio and Television presenter, however he spent his teenage years as a member of The Young Magicians Club. How does a driven and ambitious teenager go from selling Svengali Decks in Greenwich Market to being chosen by Simon Cowell to present one of the biggest Saturday night TV shows? The answers are within this podcast. Matt also discusses how he sees magic on TV being showcased over the next few years. Plus pre-pod prestidigitation ponderings with Alan Hudson. Listen now, via iTunes, Podbean or Spotify. One of the best podcasts to date. DT. 29.12.18


Pete Firman in Aladdin - New Wimbledon Theatre. Paul Merton leads the cast in this year’s high-flying pantomime as Widow Twankey, joined by Lee Ryan as Aladdin and Magician Pete Firman who will be on hand to spread a little magic over SW19 and help Aladdin overcome the evil Abanazar. Packed with all the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Aladdin features laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. This year’s panto is a treat your whole family will treasure! To Sunday 6th January. Book via 29.12.18


Talking Tricks previews The Session and revisits the Pete Firman interview. Talking Tricks with Kane & Abel is joined by Andi Gladwin to preview The Session convention next month. Gladwin unpacks the whole three-day event which features performances from Mac King, Max Maven, Luke Jermay, Ben Hart, Andy Nyman, James Went, Dani Daortiz and many more. Andi also discusses Vanishing Inc’s new Costa Rican Getaway convention and his top picks for books all magicians must read. Meanwhile, the boys talk Christmas TV magic and are joined by the ghost of podcast past Pete Firman to discuss his life in Magic. Listen via Podbean or iTunes via: 29.12.18


The MagicWeek Video Archive. This week, the fourth show of John Fisher's The Magic Comedy Strip from 1992 starring The Pendragons, Jeff Hobson, David Williamson, Rudy Coby and Joe Pasquale. This show went out on April 13th. Number 5 next week. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with past weeks and the occasional 'bonus' video Click Here. 29.12.18


Unfathomable - Sheraton Grand Park Lane, London. A new immersive mind-reading show for 2019. Do you believe in telepathy? Join Tony Middleton ‘Sonic’, star of the 5 star sell out show The Magic Hour, and Rebecca Herrera – the first female mentalist to fool Penn & Teller – in an immersive show of mind-reading. From the evocative wood panelled drawing room of the Sheraton Grand Park Lane, you will experience remarkable demonstrations of telepathy and second sight, and hear intriguing stories from magic's past. Do they have superhuman ability? Can you work them out? Or are they simply… Unfathomable? Limited to 6 dates in January: 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd. 60 guests only per show. Tickets from £25. Get 20% off the first 10 tickets per show with code: MAGICHOUR Book now to avoid disappointment: See Rebecca Herrera's appearance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us YouTube. 29.12.18


Cromer Pier Christmas Show 2018 - final weekend. The North Norfolk News describes it as "varied, surprising and energetic". Back once again for the festive season, the annual Cromer Pier Christmas Show is performed daily throughout December. As reviewed by Tim Wardley, chairman of the National Piers Association: "Headline artists Mark James and the irrepressibly evergreen Olly Day (photo) have the audience in hysterics with their quick fire comedy, magic and audience participation." The show features a full cast of singers and dancers including vocals from musicals' star Harvey James, along with chart topping vocals and cello from Fiona Jessica Wilson. Visit for tickets and more details. 29.12.18


The Prestige. Period thriller set in Edwardian London where two rival magicians, partners until the tragic death of an assistant during a show, feud bitterly after one of them performs the ultimate magic trick - teleportation. His rival tries desperately to uncover the secret of his routine, experimenting with dangerous new science as his quest takes him to the brink of insanity and jeopardises the lives of everyone around the pair (repeat). See TV Magic for details. 29.12.18


Catch up with Dynamo: Magician Impossible on both W and Dave. The acclaimed magician Dynamo travels the world, dazzling those he meets with his illusions. See TV Magic for details. 29.12.18


Planning the year ahead? Book a magic lecturer for your club for 2019. Visit the MagicWeek Lecturers page! 29.12.18


"Derren Brown's 'Sacrifice' is the best magic special on Netflix" Click Here • "Where The Magic Happens: 5 Spellbinding Restaurants" Click Here • "Broadway magician helps audience member propose during show" Click Here • "Magician puts on a performance for Shelter Dogs" Click Here • "World Hypnotism Day - The Perfect You" YouTube • "'He just loved the kids:' Fredericton's magic man dies at 75" Click Here • "Magician medal looking for a home" Click Here • "Arizona man finds magic moments in TV show on uncle Harry Houdini" Click Here • "Truly magical moment" Click Here • Hope you all had a really good Christmas. All best wishes for 2019, Duncan. 29.12.18