Number 1073 - Saturday 16th January 2021


Siegfried Fischbacher, Magic's Greatest Showman, dies aged 81. Growing up as a teenager in the 70s and wanting to be a magician, Siegfried & Roy were my Beatles. At first it was just pictures in Genii, their show poster from The Stardust reproduced on the cover of a Tannen's catalogue, and later seeing them on television. Then finally, some 20 years on, it was seeing their incredible show live at The Mirage in Las Vegas in 1994. Siegfried & Roy truly were 'The Superstars of Magic' and Siegfried's death marks the end of an era. DT.

"Siegfried Fischbacher: Member of magic duo Siegfried & Roy dies aged 81"

"Siegfried Fischbacher death: Siegfried and Roy star dies aged 81"

"Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried & Roy, dies aged 81"
"Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher - one half of the legendary duo Siegfried & Roy - dies aged 81 in Las Vegas after a battle with cancer"

"Siegfried Fischbacher, surviving member of the magician duo Siegfried & Roy, dies in Las Vegas aged 81"

"Legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher dies from cancer"

"Siegfried Fischbacher, illusionist of Siegfried & Roy, dead at 81"

Photo: Duncan Trillo/MagicWeek. 16.1.21


Siegfried & Roy: The Magic and Mystery. This week on The MagicWeek Video Archive Siegfried & Roy: The Magic and Mystery, from 1994. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with more from The MagicWeek Video Archive Click Here. 16.1.21


Sawing a Woman in Half - 100th Anniversary. This Sunday evening at 6pm online. The Magic Circle will host a free online event on the anniversary of the day in 1921 that PT Selbit stunned the entertainment world with an illusion that has fascinated audiences ever since: Sawing a Woman in Half. The event will be open to all. Debbie McGee, Paul Daniels’ partner on stage and in life, will speak of her experience as the woman who found herself dismembered on numerous occasions. As Noel Britten, the president of The Magic Circle, said last week: “Debbie has been sliced, diced, cremated, crushed, divided and decapitated more than most, so has a great story to tell.” The evening will chart the invention, history and development of this effect with magicians, magical historians and social commentators giving their take on the twists, turns and variations that have been seen over the years. It has been the cause of numerous feuds, deceptions and downfalls over the years. Would PT Selbit, sawing through a seemingly simple wooden box have envisaged Copperfield sawing himself in half in full view on a Las Vegas stage with a massive circular saw? Magician Simon Drake, historian Mike Caveney and David Copperfield himself will offer their perspectives. The event will be streamed on The Magic Circle Unlocked Facebook page (open to all) at 6pm GMT on Sunday, 17th January.


Radio coverage during the week:

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour "To mark the centenary of the infamous ‘sawing-a-woman-in-half’ illusion, Emma Barnett talks to Debbie McGee and Dr Naomi Paxton" iPlayer (starts at 20m 48s).

BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night with Dotun Adebayo "...your calls and discussion through the night, with Danny Hunt of Amethyst" iPlayer (starts at 3h 19m 50s).
BBC's 5 Live Breakfast with Clare McDonnell and Rick Edwards "with guest Dr Will Houston" iPlayer (starts at 53m 10s).

BBC Radio 4's Today "100th Anniversary of magic's most iconic trick, with Michael J Fitch and Magic Circle President Noel Britten" iPlayer (starts at 2h 21m 30s).


In the papers:

"A trick of two halves! She's been sliced, diced and decapitated. Now, 100 years after the first woman was sawn in half on stage, Paul Daniels' widow Debbie McGee reveals what it's like to pull off this eye-popping feat"

"Split in two: magicians to celebrate 100 years of sawing people in half"
"How to saw a person in half: 100 years of a sensational illusion"

"Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half" 16.1.21


This Morning. "This weekend marks the 100 years since the first person was ever sawn in half as part of a magic act. So what better way to kick off the show than by giving the trick a go? We're joined by Debbie McGee who tells us about her experience with the magic trick over the years." With Richard Cadell and Sooty too! See YouTube. 16.1.21


What do you mean you've never seen Houdini?! Houdini - The story of how struggling performer Harry Houdini became a success in Europe and, following his return to the USA, began to establish himself, by way of his death-defying feats, as the greatest escapologist of all time. Starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. 1953. Late Sunday night, 24th January, on Talking Pictures TV. Screen shot: Houdini 'sawing a woman in half'. The See TV Magic for details. 16.1.21


Video Chat Magic - The Lecture. In this two-hour lecture, Will Houstoun and Harry De Cruz will share some of the best material from, a project by Will and Steve Thompson featuring tricks, tools, essays and technology specifically designed to enhance your performances over Zoom and Skype. You will learn brand new visual and mental effects, devious methods, and cutting edge concepts unique to this exploding field.

Whether you are a professional getting bookings for shows on Zoom, or a hobbyist who wants some amazing magic to share with your friends online, this is the lecture for you. "Harry and Will’s lecture was the best one I’ve seen using Zoom… if not the best overall on any subject. The lecture was on magic for video chat, but even those who don’t and never will use Zoom will love it. Recommended!" Martin Duffy. To book the lecture for your magic club or private group contact Harry directly


Mark Raffles has recently been honoured with a wonderful portrait of him by Maltese magician and artist, Vanni Pulé. World famous pickpocket and magician, Mark, who will be celebrating his ninety-ninth birthday on Friday 22nd of January, whose first professional engagement was at the Queens Park Hippodrome, Manchester over eighty years ago, has performed worldwide from the London Palladium to Las Vegas, with many television appearances to his credit as well.


With the onset of war, due to a health problem, he was drafted to ENSA, The Department for Entertainment National Service Association. He performed for troops in the UK and then on the fall of Europe, in France and Germany. He was awarded a Citation for his work for the Forces. This thought occurs – he must be the only person to have received an honour for Picking Pockets! 16.1.21


The first Sawing in Half illusion? David Britland has written a fascinating article on the origins of most famous of all illusions, Sawing a Woman in Half. See 16.1.21


Pete Firman - Tonight at the London Palladium. Bradley Walsh returns to the famous London Palladium stage for a new series of the variety show. Featuring music from multiple BRIT Award-winner Emeli Sande, the amazing skills of the Chinese State Circus, a beautiful performance from Phantom of the Opera, magic from Pete Firman, and the very first TV performance of the brand new single from Steps. (Repeat) See TV Magic for details. 16.1.21


Mark’s Monthly Message Audio File Compilation 1 – All the Audio Files 1-6. Listen to all the Audio Files 1-6 in this compilation. Even better value when taken together in one collected Audio File. The contents are: Checking Up On Technique, Coping With Nerves, Dealing With Mistakes, Developing A Performing Personality, Magical Self Awareness, Making The Most Of Practice. See 16.1.21


Magicians Advice Podcast - How to join The Magic Circle. Hosted by Phil Taylor and Ian Brennan. Episode 143 "How to join The Magic Circle with Robert Pound". In this episode Ian and Phil chat with Robert Pound about how to join The Magic Circle. Robert is the examinations secretary at The Magic Circle and in this episode we go through, step by step, how to become a member. 16.1.21


The E-Video Newsletter January 2021. As always a new month brings a new edition of the Mark Leveridge online video presentation featuring magic, ideas, advice and fun! This time there are two routines to enjoy and learn, one being a strong two deck coincidence effect, and the other a puzzling routine using 10 cards in which a spectator appears to create an impossible outcome. There's good advice on the importance of technical proficiency, the Review Corner offers a critique of a mentalism book, and Mark offers dems and background info on his two Web Offers for this month. Finally, in 60 Seconds To Success, Mark explains why giving assisting spectators clear instruction is so vital. To watch the complete 45 minute programme you simply have to be signed up for Mark's free E-Club Lite. Membership gives you a monthly newsletter which is full of offers, information and ideas, as well as the link to access the E-Video Newsletter itself. To register go to where you can also watch a trailer of the latest programme. 16.1.21


Productions from Silks - Zane's Magic Shop. Walk on stage holding 3 large silks in one of your hands. One at a time each silk is tossed into the air. Bunch the Silks together as a group and immediately pull a full size champagne bottle out of the grouped Silks! See 16.1.21


The History of the London Society of Magicians. Robert Pamplin writes: Information needed, I am updating the History of the London Society of Magicians, I am therefore asking if anybody who has won one of the LSM competitions since 1995 could they please let me know so I can update the files. Although I have this information, since I moved, and the LSM moved from Davenports, it is in a box somewhere. Please email 16.1.21


"Gerry Cottle: Somerset circus star dies with Coronavirus" Click Here • "Dalton mindreader moves 'stunning' shows over the phone in lockdown" Click Here • "Magician to the Stars, Gregg Diamant, Launches Live Interactive Virtual Magic Show" Click Here • "Master Illusionist Teller on the Return of His CW Show and What He Misses Most About Philly" Click Here • "Israeli Illusionist Bends Spoon While Getting Vaccinated For COVID-19 To Raise Awareness" Click Here • "Carol Vorderman reaches out to Debbie McGee as unearthed Paul Daniels clip emerges" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcomed - see you next week, Duncan. 16.1.21