Last year I was invited to the SKY TV studios to film "The Devil's Dinner Party" - a psychological game show based around the setting of a posh dinner party, with evil challenges thrown in at various points to spice things up. It was a lot of fun and I've been waiting to see the end result. At last it was broadcast on Wednesday 22nd February and I got to see myself on screen. You never know how they will edit a programme like this and I was trying to remember if I'd said anything unfortunate or controversial that I would now regret! Fortunately it wasn't too bad.
One of the main things that I remember from the filming was feeling sorry for the poor guy who was voted off almost immediately - he'd travelled a long way to be on screen for only about two minutes! He was a dentist and that definitely counted against him, luckily the others seemed to like magicians so that was good news for me. The food we were given was all cold because it had to look good for hours during the filming. The "main course" was a salmon salad and although appears to have been in front of us for just a few minutes was actually there for over three hours due to delays, cuts and retakes. I did some magic during the filming which didn't make the final version of the show, although a few seconds, cut down from an actually quite lengthy, session of hypnotism was included.
During our one-to-one interviews we were asked to talk about the other participants. On several occasions the director would say "cut, that's no good, this is the DEVIL's dinner party - say something nasty" and push us to say things we probably shouldn't. I can remember bring encouraged to say a couple of things that I wasn't comfortable with but, luckily, they didn't make the final cut of the show.
The day after the broadcast a couple of people stopped me in the street and asked if I was "that bloke off the telly" which was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole TV show experience and look forward to another couple of TV projects that are being discussed at the moment. Watch this space!
Yesterday I was back at the Crown Rivers restaurant/bar at Heathrow Terminal 5 entertaining passengers waiting for their flights. There is a great atmosphere at Crown Rivers and everyone was keen to see a bit of magic and mindreading. It's also a lot of fun to meet so many different people all heading off to different parts of the world - this time there were many going to Calgary and Cape Town in amongst the domestic travellers. I particularly enjoyed meeting the guys from specialist tour operator Ski Independence (www.ski-i.com) and adding a bit of magic to their visit to the restaurant.
When I arrived at T5 there was a gaggle of photographers and teenage girls by one of the airport entrances. Apparently teen pop sensations One Direction were in the area, but they were been very secretive and I didn't get to meet them, maybe next time. Gary Lineker was about and I also spotted Lee McQueen from TV's "The Apprentice", although he didn't do his (in)famous pterodactyl impression!
I'll be back at Crown Rivers in March, if you happen to be flying out from Terminal 5 come along to enjoy the food, drink and magic.
This afternoon I was back at the glorious Beaumont Estate for the wedding of Chanelle and Michael. This really is one of the best wedding venus in Berkshire with the chapel being a special highlight, an amazing location for the wedding breakfast. It's also the place that I filmed a couple of scenes for forthcoming film "The Wedding Video", in cinemas soon!
I mixed together some traditional card magic and my own brand of mind-reading, plus a few balloon creations for an enthusiastic group of youngsters. As often happens at wedding receptions the bride and groom are too busy to see much of the magic, but we got a couple of quick tricks in right at the end.
Congratulations to Chanelle and Michael - all the best for your future together.
Yesterday I drove to the Farnham House Hotel to do some magic at the wedding of Sarah and Simon. The hotel was in a lovely snowy setting and the weather wasn't too cold, so it was all very cosy. I arrived just as the couple were leaving the ceremony and the reception was beginning. This is usually the cue for me to start the magic but this time I was instead surrounded by a large group of youngsters who wanted balloons, balloons and more balloons! So for the next ninety minutes I turned balloons into cats, dogs, tigers, elephants, hats, swords and, best of all, a HUGE green octopus. The octopus was bigger than the lad I gave it to! The children had a great time and several of the adults thanked me for letting them relax and enjoy the reception - all part of the service!
As the wedding breakfast began I was able to show a quick bit of magic to the bride and groom and then headed off to the next magic event of the day.
Many congratulations to Sarah and Simon - all the best for your future together.
On Friday I spent the afternoon performing magic at The Crown Rivers bar/restaurant at Heathrow Terminal 5 and had a fantastic time. Crown Rivers (http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-crown-rivers) is airside so I had to take my passport and go through full security checks to get there, which took quite a while. However it was definitely worth it as the afternoon of magic went really well. The airport was full of rugby fans heading off to Rome for the England/Italy fixture and they were all ready for some magic and mind-reading to liven up the wait for their flight. In fact everyone was keen to see some entertainment and thought that having a resident magician was a wonderful idea.
As mentioned earlier in this blog we had put out a press release about the Heathrow magic and this led to two press photographers turning up to capture the event for the papers - so you may have spotted my picture in the Daily Mail or Daily Mirror as well as in the Metro (see below).
According to Graham, the manager of Crown Rivers, the day I was there was the busiest day on record for the restaurant! So I will definitely be back there on a regular basis - thanks to Graham, Jenny, Barry and all of the staff at The Crown Rivers for making me so welcome and helping to bring some magic to Heathrow.
On Saturday I was booked to entertain at Freddie's 11th birthday at a farm near Amersham. With snow and ice everywhere and temperatures as low as -10 it was an "interesting" drive! As I arrived the party guests, 10 boys all around 11 years old, were understably enjoying the snow and sledging on the hill outside the farm - but as soon they they knew "the magician" had arrived they hurried inside and gathered round the large kitchen table for the show. It's always fun doing magic for youngsters of this age as they will quite clearly tell you if they know how some of the magic is done and they will also show genuine open-jawed amazement when something happens that they can't explain. The time flew by and I finished off with a prediction of what Freddie would draw - which turned out to be a pet sheep, accurately predicted! A great way to start off the weekend - Happy Birthday Freddie!
I've been quoted by The New York Times! You can read the article here... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/your-money/putting-a-price-on-your-work-shortcuts.html