Number 1233 - Saturday 10th February 2024


Chris Harding is The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2024. Charlie Burgess reports: Strictly Come Dancing chief judge Shirley Ballas swapped the dance floor for The Magic Circle’s headquarters on Monday evening and gave an unofficial 10 to all the competitors in The Magic Circle’s Close-up Magician of the Year Competition 2024. Shirley was one of many stars who came out to see 38-year-old Chris Harding take the crown, with Tim Sutton second and Henri White third and was among several celebrities who attended the competition, invited by President Marvin Berglas.


Former Lioness Alex Scott was one of the "muggle" judges whose score was taken into account alongside those of magicians, Guy Hollingworth, Katherine Rhodes and Chris Wood. Alex was accompanied by the singer Jess Glynne who proved to the perfect assistant to several of the acts. Beforehand she had said she wanted to see some card tricks - and she found herself involved in many. Other celebrities included Arsenal legend Ian Wright and Shirley’s partner, West End actor Danny Taylor, who played Tommy Cooper in a UK tour last year.

Receiving his award from Marvin, Chris revealed it was 22 years since he last performed at The Magic Circle as a 16-year-old member of the Young Magicians Club and he paid tribute to Mandy Davis and Roy Marsh who ran the club at the time. Chris, from Kent, said: "I am so proud. This means the absolute world to me." He spoke of the genuine warmth from his fellow competitors back stage. Marvin, who presented the award, said: "The competitors all worked so hard and it was a fantastic effort." The night was compered by Liam Ball, the main organiser of the competition. The six other finalists were Roman Armstrong, Bronwyn Covney, James Pritchard, Tom Wright, Russ Appleby and Paul Pickford. (Photo by Brendan Rodrigues. L to R: Henri White, Chris Harding, Tim Sutton)


Blackpool Beckons! Mac King presents his full Las Vegas Show next weekend at the world's largest magic convention! 173 Dealers - 37 Lectures - 3 Main Gala Shows - 7 Standalone Fringe Shows - 3 Late Night Shows... and you! Blackpool Magic Convention 15th-18th February 2024: 10.2.24


Wessex Magic Convention 2024 - tickets now on sale! From the organisers: Sunday 24th March in Bournemouth. Doors open at 8.30am, and the day begins at 9am. As well as our Dealers' Hall, lecturers during the day will include Luke Jermay, Craig Petty, Oliver Tabor and James Brown. Refreshments will be available throughout and from 5.30pm we will have a licensed bar prior to our Gala show which starts at 6.30pm. The show will end at around 9.30pm. Star names performing include: Ryland Petty, Katherine Rhodes, Oliver Tabor and Jay & Joss. Wessex Magic Convention 2024, Bournemouth School for Girls, Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 9UJ. See:


Leeds Magic Jam 2024 - tickets now on sale! From the organisers: Following our sell-out event last year, Leeds Magic Jam is back for 2024. This year's event is on Sunday 8th September at Garforth Welfare Hall, 56 Main Street, Garforth, Leeds LS25 1AA. We will have amazing lectures, workshops and dealers, and tickets are just £20! For updates visit: 10.2.24


John Lenahan Lecture – South London Magic Society, 20th February. Simon Rosselli writes: John came to Britain from his native Philadelphia for a short trip and has never quite made it back. 2004 saw him starring in a new primetime BBC1 show, Secrets of Magic. His own BBC2 series, Stuff The White Rabbit, achieved record ratings for the slot. John has performed onstage all over the world, from Beijing and Dubai to Dublin. He has toured alongside Jack Dee, Victoria Wood, Lenny Henry and Michael Ball. Besides all this, Lenahan is one of the most successful corporate entertainers in the country. Apart from his show-stealing cabaret, he has made kitchens appear, taught Bank of England staff to juggle, read thousands of minds and levitated a 20-pound Toblerone bar. He was the first person on record to perform magic live over the Internet, for BT.


John lectures on Tuesday 20th February (8pm–10pm) at South London Magic Society, Clockhouse Methodist Church, Clockhouse Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JP. £10 for non-members (pay on the night) which can go towards membership if you decide to join. Doors open 7.30pm. 10.2.24


Merlins Magic Festival Day - Birdwell, Barnsley, 19th May. Merlins of Wakefield are hosting another fantastic One Day Magic Festival. The day will consist of lectures, workshops and surprises, and will finish with a Gala Magic Show in the evening. If you would just prefer to come along and see some of the best professional magic, comedy and variety acts, then the evening show is for you, ideal for the whole family. If you would like to see everything, then get the special discounted ticket for the whole event. With a minimum age limit of 10 years old, and concessions for under 16 year olds. There is plenty of free parking, a cafe/bar open all day and easy access from the M1 junction 36.

Due to previous years successful events, there has been a lot of interest, so please book early. Entry is by ticket only. We will email you a ticket to print off and bring on the day, along with timings and directions to the venue. The evening show seats are now numbered and will be allocated on a first come basis - book early to get the best seats! Book here:


If you book for the whole event, you will get a Merlins goody bag worth at least the price of the ticket! Day event is from 9.30am - 5.30pm. Evening show is 7.00pm - 9.30pm. The Academy Theatre, Birdwell, Barnsley S70 5TU 10.2.24


Matthew Wright's Essentials of Close-up Magic Lecture - The Leicester Magic Circle, 12th February. The Leicester Magic Circle write: This brand new lecture from three-time FISM Award Winner Matthew Wright goes into every detail of his close-up working repertoire. You will learn not only what tricks he does, but why he does them, at what time and to whom. He will teach you how he creates, practices and masters the routines from start to finish. He will dive into the psychology of choosing the right spectator and how to ensure that the audience enjoys the best possible magical experience they can. You will learn techniques and skills never before lectured by Matthew, as he gives away some of his biggest secrets. Tricks with cards, coins, rings, phones and much more will be on display in this not to be missed masterclass on close-up and parlour magic. Monday 12th February at 7.30pm at The Leicester Magic Circle, Braunstone Civic Centre, 209 Kingsway, Braunstone, Leicester LE3 2PP 10.2.24


The MagicWeek Video Archive. A new magic clip or show every week! This week, Alan Shaxon on 'Five Magic Minutes' from 1980. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To see more from The MagicWeek Video Archive Click Here. 10.2.24


Chandaue, McGhie, Farquhar, Jonathan, Spelmann, Dickinson, Morton and Elsdon on Craig Petty's Magic TV: 'Talk Magic'. Every week Craig Petty sits down and chats with a well known magician; a creator, a performer, or someone who has had a positive impact on the Magic Community. This week: "Chandaue, McGhie, Farquhar, Jonathan, Spelmann, Dickinson, Morton and Elsdon discuss 'Evoke'" YouTube. 10.2.24


The Feb/Mar 2024 Mark Leveridge Podcast. Do you have 45 minutes to spare? If so, pull up a chair, relax and enjoy the latest magic audio podcast from Mark Leveridge. Here are the topics included this time: Thoughts and opinion on The Session 2024 convention. Why strolling and table hopping magicians should be more happy with their ‘lot’. Working out the method for a new trick is not the hardest part. How to identify if you have any verbal tics and why you need to get rid of them. ‘Confusion isn’t magic’ – taking a look at the truth behind Vernon’s sage remark. How to avoid putting right what isn’t actually wrong! Is your show marketing speaking to the right people? Making your act consistent with your performing personality. The fine line with truth in marketed trick publicity. There are two ways to listen to this free 45 minute podcast. You can catch it either from, or from where you can also sign up to be a follower and receive each new release automatically. 10.2.24


Robert Temple in the news...

"Comedy hypnotist overturns decades-old ban on mesmerism"

"Bolton hypnotism: Ban on shows to be lifted after 42 years"

"42 Year Hypnosis Show ban lifted by Bolton Council 7th Feb 2024" YouTube. 10.2.24


Congratulations to John Ryeland - Winner of the Bill Hammersley HCMS Close-up Competition 2024. Robert Wilson writes: On February 1st Home Counties Magical Society hosted the Bill Hammersley Close-up competition with John Ryeland winning the competition and taking home the Bill Hammersley trophy. Congratulations to John Ryeland. Home Counties Magical Society are always looking for new members and if you are interested in joining our society please get in contact via our website 10.2.24


David Britland's Cardopolis. Always excellent. If you're really into magic Cardopolis is for you! Magic, notes, trivia, and other fragments from the deceptive art. It's free, but a click on the 'Buy Me A Coffee' link is a nice gesture. DT. Subscribe at: 10.2.24


Elementary. High Heat. "Holmes and Watson investigate the death of a magician killed while performing a classic stunt. Watson also suspects Bell is being targeted by the ex-husband of his girlfriend." 19th February on Alibi. See TV Magic for details. 10.2.24


Eternally Yours. "A magician's wife is bored with her marriage because of her husband's obsession with tricks - can he conjure up the necessary spark? Romantic comedy, starring Loretta Young and David Niven." Thursday 15th February on Talking Pictures TV. See TV Magic for details. 10.2.24


Houdini's Greatest Escape - UK Tour. Harry Houdini is the world's greatest entertainer. Just as his death-defying escapology stunts have him, and his wife Bess, on the cusp of a career-defining performance for King Edward, he finds himself framed for murder by a gang of criminals in cahoots with the chief of police. Can Harry & Bess escape the plot and clear their names? And how is their rival, The Superstar Spiritualist medium, involved?

All will be revealed in this hilarious 39 Steps-esque thriller, played out in New Old Friends' (Crimes on Centre Court) inimitable, award-winning style of physical comedy, sparkling wit and just a touch of chaos. Featuring a hard-working cast of four playing multiple roles on an almost harder-working set, this show will have you laughing and gasping throughout at the magic of theatre and the 'real' magic of illusions designed by TV's Pete Firman. Between 6th February 2024 and 30th June 2024 this tour will visit 29 venues. See for more info and to book.


Plan ahead! Book a magic lecturer for your club today. Visit the MagicWeek Lecturers page. 10.2.24


"Magician Steven Frayne wows with Super Bowl magic" Click Here • "Gary Neville left stunned to silence after magician Dynamo’s card trick in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII" Click Here • "King Charles cancer news drops as Magic Circle president compliments his magic skills" Click Here • "Shirley Ballas, 63, enjoys rare outing with toyboy fiancé Danny Taylor, 50, at star-studded Magic Circle bash - after Strictly judge called off their wedding and vowed to 'never marry again'" Click Here • "Meet the Wolverhampton magician who is also a tarot card reader" Click Here • If you are heading to Blackpool next weekend have lots of fun. That's it for MagicWeek this week, see you next week, Duncan. 10.2.24