Number 167 - 6th September 2003


Thousands gathered on the banks of the River Thames on Friday evening to witness history in the making as David Blaine entered his much publicised Perspex box. At approximately 9.25pm he was hoisted some 30 feet into the air where he plans to remain for the next 44 days, surviving on water alone. Onlookers cheered as he climbed into his casket, which really does measure just 7' x 7' x 3', but then seemed a little subdued when they realised that "that's it." Many expected the huge crane to swivel the box out over the Thames, but that didn't happen - the box remaining firmly above terra-firma as opposed to above the below. But not to worry - the real challenge lies ahead regardless of the actual location. Before getting in, Blaine had a final medical and chatted to friends: "The first three weeks of this I am pretty sure I can handle. It is the last three that are going to be insane." Sky ran the whole event live and Channel 4 are showing David Blaine: Above the Below on Monday evening at 10pm. To see a larger version of these exclusive MagicWeek photos Click Here. If you plan to go along yourself Click Here for a map. 6.9.03


Five have commissioned Objective Productions to produce The Greatest Magic Tricks in the Universe… Ever. The six, hour-long programmes, presented by Five's very own Monkey Magic boys, will celebrate the world's best magicians together with their greatest tricks, stunts and escapes. Five's Controller of Entertainment, Andrew Newman, said: "This will be the definitive magic series, from Tommy Cooper to David Blaine, all presented in Monkey Magic's unique style." Each week the magicians, Monkey Boy, Tufty, Colonel and Papa, will take us on a magical journey from the world's biggest magic tricks to the most bizarre, from the deadliest to the funniest. Celebrity magic fans will talk about their love of magic and discuss their favourite tricks. Actress Minnie Driver, singer and former magician's assistant Faye Tozer (ex-Steps), actor Jerome Flynn and amateur magician Jeremy Beadle are just a few of the many well-known faces who reveal their love of all things magic. Paul Daniels, Debbie McGee, Penn & Teller and Paul Zenon will talk about their favourite tricks. Objective Productions', Executive Producer, Andrew O'Connor, said: "We're very proud of The Greatest Magic Tricks In The Universe... Ever which mixes the best tricks and illusions by the world's most brilliant magicians with the unique style of the Monkey Magic team." From September 21st on Five 6.9.03


Yahoo have a page dedicated to David Blaine that features news links for all the latest on his River Thames endurance stunt: Click Here. Magic Circle member Nick Fitzherbert of Magic Management was asked for his thoughts on Blaine in a two page spread in Friday's Daily Express "He is attracting attention in a way that very few people can. He has caught the public's attention and brought a new interest in magic which magicians all over the world should be grateful for. Now he seems to be moving away from the magic world but his great hero, Houdini, also went through several phases and kept reinventing himself as fashions moved on. That is what David is doing." Here are some more links: The Sun 1 The Sun 2 The Guardian The Mirror 1 The Mirror 2 The Mirror 3 BBC CBBC Evening Standard 1 Evening Standard 2 Sky. 6.9.03


Ex-Sun journalist Matthew Wright exposed the "vanishing a coin under a glass" trick on Five's day-time show The Wright Stuff on Thursday, for a cheap laugh (that never came). It wasn't done with any real malice, more simply in a "why not?" sort of fashion. Programmes such as the Masked Magician series, and more recently Secrets of Magic, do little to discourage any Tom, Dick or Harry from "having a go." The show ran a section entitled "From Magic to Tragic" discussing the pros and cons of Blaine's latest stunt, with the introduction: "Tomorrow night, magician David Blaine will be encased and suspended in a clear glass box over the River Thames for 44 days, with no food - only water to drink. Is Blaine's latest trick a genius feat of magic or a crazy dangerous stunt? Blaine will suffer both physical and mental changes over the 6 weeks, but it will supposedly make him one of the greatest magicians of all time, so is it worth it? Does anyone actually care?" In the studio some thought it an amazing feat of endurance, whilst others simply found the whole concept distasteful. 6.9.03


Scotland's Paul Brignall has been invited to present his popular magic lecture to the magicians of Rome at a venue in the centre of the city on October 24th at 9pm. Paul is one of the top Scottish comedy magic performers on the corporate circuit. On his return he'll start work as magic consultant to a number of Christmas shows and pantomimes in central Scotland. Lecture details from: 6.9.03 The Directory of UK Magicians, Mindreaders, Hypnotists, Illusionists and Pickpockets is two years old. The site is doing very well and now features approximately 80 professionals advertising their services - all just one click away. has proved to be very popular with both traditional bookers and individuals wanting to hire a magician: 6.9.03


Last Sunday's Manchester Circle Of Magicians British Magical Awards Convention is reviewed by Jason Duckworth this week, Click Here. The convention registrants voted to award Donald Bevan the British Magical Award for Literature 2003 for the tremendous dedication that he has shown over many, many years in producing "Abracadabra." Click Here. 6.9.03 is an Irish based online magic community. Their unique offering is a free place for magicians to upload and share videos of their magic work. Sounds like a good idea. Visit: 6.9.03 are currently having a sale. Right now they're offering over 100 items at up to 50% off including DVD's, videos, and props. Visit: 6.9.03


The BIP Book looks set to make an impact on mindreading circles. "If it was any cleaner the pages would be blank. Brilliant idea - perfect!" Wayne Dobson. Find out all about the BIP Book at: (scroll down). 6.9.03


Steve Dacri's Xtreme Close-up Magic has just had its run extended at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas through to the end of December. After three excellent weeks this refreshing close-up magic show will continue, but in a new showroom, this time as a dinner show. Many UK magicians have been lined up to appear in special guest spots. Mel Harvey recently completed a successful week and has already been asked back. The show, which features sleight of hand magic and a roving camera system to project ultra-close-up views onto large screens, has enjoyed rave reviews and strong word of mouth praise in a city that has seen it all. 6.9.03


Bonham's Auctioneers, New Bond Street, London, are auctioning a collection of magic magazines on September 16th. Click Here for details. 6.9.03


The Leeds Magical Association have lined up Mark Leveridge, Jack Delvin and Colin Rose to lecture over the coming months. Non-member magicians are very welcome to attend their lecture nights for a small charge of £5. The Club meets at the Quaker Meeting House, 188 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds (opposite the University, next to the Eldon pub). Further details can be obtained from the website: 6.9.03


Mandy Muden's DreamFlight show planned for Saturday September 6th has had to be cancelled, however a new date has been set: Saturday September 22nd at the Comedy Store, Leicester Square. The show will feature some of the country's top comedians, together with special guests. Dreamflight is the charity that takes terminally ill children to Disneyland, Florida. Tickets are £15 each, doors open at 6.30pm and the show will start at 8pm. Email Mandy Muden directly for tickets: Visit: • Alec Powell ( is holding a Magic Car Boot Sale at The Beechmen Circus Warehouse, 43 Union Street, West Bromwich tomorrow (Sunday, September 7th). Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3.00. 30 stalls have been booked and dealers include: Albion Magic, Keith Bennett, Practical Magic, Merlins, Steven Tucker and Gary Young. The unit is less than a mile from Junction 1 off the M5. All stalls are inside and refreshments are available. More information from Alec on 0121 532 4509 or 07831 115448 • That's it for this week, your news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 6.9.03