Number 1054 - 5th September 2020


The Magic Circle Awards 2020. The Magic Circle honoured some of the great names in magic, including the Larsen family in the US and the UK’s Simon Drake, at its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, 1st September. The format was different this year. A special edition of TMC TV, the society’s weekly show hosted on its Facebook page, was streamed to its 1,800 members around the world.

The David Devant Award for Services to International Magic, named after The Magic Circle’s Founding President, was presented by President Noel Britten to the Larsen Family, the first family of American magicians. Noel said: "Over four generations they have been responsible for the creation and continuing success of The Magic Castle in Los Angeles, Genii magazine, pioneering television magic shows and many other projects. They live, breathe and love magic unlike any others; the world of magic owes them a great debt. We hope the Devant Award can go a small way to acknowledge just part of the thanks due from the membership of The Magic Circle."

The Maskelyne Award for Services to British Magic went to Simon Drake MIMC. Noel said: "Simon’s contributions to British magic are extensive and far reaching. His seminal TV show The Secret Cabaret introduced a whole new generation of magicians through his Grand Guignol presentations... He opened his own venue, Simon Drake’s House of Magic in a secret location in London over 20 years ago and ever since then has been amazing and thrilling audiences." [Photo: Simon Drake MIMC receiving The Maskelyne Award]

The John Nevil Maskelyne Award for noteworthy contributions to the art or literature of magic was awarded to the American author and published Stephen Minch who has written over 30 books, founded the magic publishers Hermetic Press and edits Gibecière, the specialist magazine. Noel said: "As a bibliophile, I think ‘noteworthy’ underplays the hugely significant contribution you have made to our art in your extensive and beautiful work in chronicling and capturing many of the leading magicians of our time. The Magic Circle thanks you for the authorship, and in many cases also the printing of these truly important books."

The Carlton Award for Outstanding Comedy in Magic went to Danny Buckler AIMC. Noel said: "Mixing comedy and magic has taken Danny around the world with audiences from Disney Cruises to hardened soldiers in war zones. His keen eye, quick wit and esoteric turn of phrase has made him a regular performer at all the major comedy clubs in England, and a regularly sought-after compere for many shows."

The Cecil Lyle Award for Best Trick in The Magic Circular went to Tom Elderfield AIMC for 'Cheesy But Easy' published in November 2019. Noel said: "Tom is one of the bright new generation of magical minds whose creativity is seen in many of the leading magic TV shows around the world. With a quirky and highly investigative outlook on life, no object is safe from Tom's fertile mind to create original magical ideas with them. Of course ideas are one thing, but Tom has the ability to bring those magical thoughts to life."

Silver Wands for Service to The Magic Circle went to Brian Sibley MIMC, who has just stepped down as chair of the society’s governing Council and Rajan MIMC, who ran the 'At Home' Magic Circle shows.


Nine magic acts have made it through to the Britain's Got Talent Semi Finals! And they are: Aidan McCann, Amanda and Miracle, Damien O’Brien, Hakan Berg, James and Dylan Piper, James Scott, Jasper Cherry, Kevin Quantum and Magical Bones. This evening Ant and Dec host the first of the semi-final shows. Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Ashley Banjo are on the judging desk, and eight acts will compete in each semi-final, with two finalists being selected by the judges and viewers' votes. 8pm this evening on ITV. See TV Magic for details. 5.9.20


The MagicWeek Video Archive. A new magic clip or show every week! More magic was added to The MagicWeek Video Archive during the week, including this clip of Simon Drake in a guest appearance that he made on 'Tonight with Jonathan Ross' on 24th February 1992, Click Here. 5.9.20


Smoke & Mirrors Comedy Theatre Pub Wins 2020 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Theatres and retains Number One spot of Overall Attractions. Smoke & Mirrors Recognised Best in Bristol, Based on Outstanding 2019 Traveler Reviews. Smoke & Mirrors today announced it has been recognised as a 2020 Travelers’ Choice award-winner for Theatres and overall top attraction based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic. Award winners are known for consistently receiving great traveler feedback, placing them in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the globe.


"We are absolutely over the moon to be awarded the Traveler Choice Award for 2020, it's been a hard six months but we are ready to entertain again and cannot wait for old and new customers to come back," said owner Mark Bennett. "Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition," said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at TripAdvisor. "Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners' achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers as the world begins to venture out again." To read reviews visit or visit 5.9.20


Here's David Redfearn on 'Astounding Celebrities' from 22nd December 2003. David performs on the Countdown set to Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman with his take of the classic ACAAN concept, and then goes on to outnumber Carol Vorderman herself! Click Here. 5.9.20


David Blaine Ascension. If you missed the live stream on Tuesday, here's the full event: YouTube. "'This is all because of you'. David shows his daughter the balloon rig" YouTube. "Jaden Smith chills himself in David Blaine’s cryochamber for three minutes in ambitious stunt" . 5.9.20


Entertainers, Business & Marketing (online) Conference - free for 2020. Ken Dyne writes: This year for my annual business and marketing event for entertainers I decided to make the whole thing online and free to attend. Right now entertainers need to feel connected, they need some hope and if I can give that in some small way by creating a virtual event that people all over the world can attend, that'll be an amazing thing. 12th & 13th September 2020. For details: Click Here. 5.9.20


Vegas has its own 'Magic Camp', year-round and online for almost 30 years! With all the buzz around the new Disney Plus offering 'Magic Camp', those who have been fans of magic for longer than Disney's new streaming site has been online know about the real-life and highly acclaimed school for magicians that is McBride's Magic & Mystery School. Founded by master magician Jeff McBride nearly 30 years ago, the school offers instruction for real-life magic enthusiasts, including both those just discovering magic and those who have come back after a long absence. Mat Franco first attended the school at the age of 12. Shin Lim was a student at the yearly 'Lance Burton Teen Seminar' co-hosted by the school for nearly 15 years.

"At the school, we don't compete," said founder Jeff McBride, "but we do teach students who have gone on to win almost every competition for magicians around the world; everything from their local magic club competition on up to America's Got Talent. The school tailors its curriculum to each individual student, offering what McBride terms, "The only real Master Class in Magic".


"We used to host a dozen or so events here in Las Vegas each year", says McBride. "Each one served between 12-20 students, except for our Magic & Meaning Conference, where we usually have about 75 students... but it was really only about 200 students each year. Now we often reach more than that just with our Monday Night Mystery School program, which is free and open to all".


Asked how he feels about the film 'Magic Camp', McBride states, "I hope it’s a big success. I used to teach at a place called Tannen's Magic Camp almost every summer, and it was a great experience... both for me and for those attending. Anything that generates more interest in magic is good for everyone involved in magic. But of course, I hope what we offer is a much richer experience than the one depicted in the film." Find out more, visit 5.9.20


Paul Zenon continues his run on Countdown this week. Nick Hewer and Rachel Riley present the words-and-numbers game, with Paul Zenon alongside Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner. Daily on Channel 4. Don't miss it! See TV Magic for details. 5.9.20


The September E-Video Newsletter. Mark Leveridge's monthly online video release is 30+ minutes of your time well spent. It features magic to learn, advice to help guide you, reviews to save you wasting your money, and there's usually a bit of fun thrown in for good measure too. The latest edition offers you a nice card routine to learn, a peek behind the E-Club Pro door to get an explanation of an instant silk production, advice on how to calm performance nerves, a review of Jared Manley's effect Bolted and more. Access to the online footage is free and can be made from a link supplied in Mark's monthly email newsletter. Each newsletter is packed with magic content and offers, as well as providing the pathway to the E-Video Newsletter itself. To receive it, you simply need to be signed up for Mark's no-cost E-Club Lite, which can be done in seconds at A new E-Video Newsletter is released on the 1st of every month, so join today and give yourself something to look forward to every 30 days or so! 5.9.20


Ben Hart: 2 Metre Magic - Norwich Theatre Interlude, this Tuesday, 8th September. In an era when social distancing is paramount, Ben presents a magical and skilful show, removing contact with audience members while still providing all of the spectacle and awe-inspiring sensation of a live magic show! A rare chance to witness Ben's acclaimed sleight of hand, set against a backdrop of hilarious repartee, stories of wonder and moments of deep astonishment. Expect impossible magic with the most ordinary of items as Ben manipulates nature, your minds and the very fabric of reality. Norwich Theatre Interlude, Tuesday 8th September: Click Here. See What's On for more dates. 5.9.20


Salvage Hunters: The Restorers. Drew Pritchard challenges two automaton experts to bring a 130-year-old magician back to life. Plus, metal worker Ted works on a pair of West End theatre lights. Wednesday 2nd September on Quest. See TV Magic for details. 5.9.20


Where's my website? MagicWeek has always had 'Links to Magicians based in the UK' page. If your website isn't on it and you'd like it to be, simply apply for your link to be added, Click Here. It is a useful resource and it's free. 5.9.20


"Bets taken for Northampton magician to win Britain's Got Talent for days after not making semi-finals" Click Here [Bearing in mind that this is a man who can distort time YouTube I wasn't surprised! DT] • "Britain's Got Talent: Chorley comedian and Clitheroe magician take East Lancashire to semi-final" Click Here • "Teen magician from Clitheroe makes it through to semi-finals of BGT" Click Here • "Dagenham born magician fostered in Romford after losing parents wows audiences with online show" Click Here • "Magician Jen Kramer focused on returning to the stage at the Westgate Cabaret" Click Here • "‘America’s Got Talent’ Magician Exposed As Fake By Audience Members" Click Here • "During lockdown, a Calcuttan proves that magic belongs to the magician" Click Here • "Teen illusionist aims for gold at magicians’ championships" Click Here • "Oak Park magician deftly adapts 'The Magic Parlour at Home' for online audiences" Click Here • And finally, not magic, but if you enjoy cinema then this recent "Classic FM/Radio Times readers' Top 100 Movie Themes poll", which includes a sample of each piece of music, was very well done: Click Here • That's it for another week, see you next week, Duncan. 5.9.20