Number 493 - 5th December 2009


David Copperfield - live from Las Vegas! David Copperfield was last weekend's International Magic Convention's mystery guest... it can now be revealed! In a one-hour live video link-up David Berglas hosted a question and answer session which took questions from the packed audience of magicians at the Mermaid theatre in London. The session proved to be a tremendous success. We enjoyed David Copperfield's ready wit one minute, and serious thought-provoking answers the next. David Berglas was the perfect host as Noel Britten ran madly up and down the aisles, microphone in hand! It was a perfect event and there were many other convention highlights as well, so I am very grateful to Matt Field, editor of the excellent Magic Circular (The Magic Circle's in-house magazine) for his comprehensive convention report this week Click Here. Following the Saturday and Sunday night gala shows collections were taken in memory of Jim Cellini and Ali Bongo (two great friends of the Convention) which jointly raised £650.94 for The Stroke Association. International Magic have just set up a book of remembrance for Jim Cellini at 5.12.09


The launch of the new biography David Nixon: Entertainer with the Magic Touch by Edwin A. Dawes and Stephen Short was celebrated at The Magic Circle on Monday, November 30th, with a special lecture and show attended by members of the Nixon family. David Nixon’s wife Vivienne, son Nicholas and daughter Mandy were among the Nixon family members attending the event, which started with a lecture by Eddie Dawes on the man described as ‘the father of magic on television’. A tribute show followed with performances of tricks closely associated with Nixon’s career featuring Chris Woodward, Terry Seabrooke, Fay Presto and Colin Rose. Alan Shaxon, who tore and restored a newspaper strip, recounted how an appearance on the Nixon TV show kick-started his professional career and Peter Scarlett concluded the live action with Nixon’s signature card in cigarette routine. Film clips included ‘Dizzy Limit’, the transposition with Anita Harris, and many clips of the sadly missed Ali Bongo who acted as magical adviser to David Nixon in the 1970s.


David Nixon: Entertainer with the Magic Touch tells the story of a remarkable life: how David’s childhood fascination with conjuring tricks led to wartime adventures with ENSA, and how he rose from running concert parties to being the nation’s best-loved star. David’s personal life was one touched by tragedy. Yet for all his mastery of illusion –the mind-reading Nap Hand card trick or the mysterious Dizzy Limit – the easygoing on-screen image that made him a friend to every viewer was no deception, but a true reflection of a hardworking optimist who lived to entertain. For the first time, Edwin A. Dawes and Stephen Short have interviewed David’s many friends and loved ones to present a full portrait of his life. Lavishly illustrated using family photographs, publicity posters and television stills, David Nixon: Entertainer with the Magic Touch is a truly enchanting book. Hardback, 276 x 210mm, 288 pages, price £35.00. Available directly from or the publisher 5.12.09


Noel Britten receives The Magic Circle’s Carlton Comedy Award. Acclaimed comedian and member of The Magic Circle Noel Britten added to his trophy cabinet this week on receiving the Carlton Comedy Award from The Magic Circle for outstanding use of comedy and magic. Named after legendary magician Carlton, aka ‘the Human Hairpin’, the Carlton Comedy Award is awarded annually by The Magic Circle. Previous winners include Terry Seabrooke, Graham Jolley and John Archer. As he accepted the Carlton Award from past president of The Magic Circle, Alan Shaxon, Noel made special mention of Richard McDougall and Alan Alan, each of whom had provided help and inspiration over the years. Previous awards include 'Hackney Empire New Act of the Year' and 'Ha Bloody Ha New Act of the Year'. 5.12.09


Showzam! Blackpool's Annual Festival of Circus, Magic and New variety. Taking place during February half-term (Friday 12th – Sunday 21st February 2010), Showzam! will celebrate the art of circus, magic and new variety in its natural home of Blackpool. The festival will feature some of the world’s most exciting and talented artists such as Olivier award winning variety act, La Clique who will be bringing their heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety to Blackpool’s Tower Circus from Friday 12th to Saturday 20th February. Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Stageworks present ‘Queens of Magic’ (Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th February) which will feature some of the world's best female magicians including illusionist Fay Presto and the fantastic Romany Diva of Magic. Other confirmed shows are, ‘Variety Notes’, (The Grand, Saturday 13th February) which will play host to a range of different acts from the mesmerising Elvis the Hula Boy to up and coming music variety act Frisky and Mannish. For more information on all of the shows and events taking place as part of Showzam visit or call 01253 478 204. 5.12.09


Card on Tie! Video now online. "A card chosen by a spectator vanishes from the deck and appears in a flash on the tie of the magician. This effect is based on the transformation of the tie, without exchanging it for another. The material has been specially woven and finished for this effect from the finest cloth with a design which is not commercially available. The playing card which appears is woven into the material. This tie is hand-made by a professional to the highest specifications. Made in Germany." For more information, to watch a video demo, and order, visit Price: €63.00 which includes priority air mail delivery. 5.12.09


The Magic Circle Awards Banquet 2009. On Saturday, November 21st, at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, London, The Magic Circle staged their Annual Awards Banquet. The following awards were announced:

David Devant Award, posthumously to Ali Bongo.
Cecil Lyle Award for best trick in The Magic Circular to Tim Sutton.
John Nevil Maskelyne Literary Award to Chris Woodward.
Maskelyne Award to Terry Seabrooke.
Carlton Comedy Award to Noel Britten (announced at a later date).
Silver Wands to Jack Delvin, Alan & Barbara Astra, Keith & Carol Cooper. 5.12.09


Reader of Minds, Paul Voodini's hugely successful book on impromptu mind reading and cold reading techniques, ends its limited availability in hard copy this weekend. From 5pm on Monday 7th December the book will only be available as a PDF download from Lebanon Circle So if you would like a signed hard copy of the book described by Dr. Todd Landman MMC as "a must read" and "a valuable addition to mystery entertainment literature", you have just a few days to get your order in! Visit for more details. 5.12.09


The oil painting of Ali Bongo is now hanging in the club room of The Magic Circle. Artist Ann Roe Jones (centre) is photographed here with some Circle members who worked so hard to make its acquisition possible. Ann has a magicians page on her updated website: 5.12.09


Steve Price AIMC was the main cabaret performer at the South Downs Magicians’ Christmas party last Wednesday. He entertained the packed audience of magicians, their families and guests as well as invited attendees from the village of Handcross in West Sussex where the club meets every month. Steve included his signature “Omelette Roulette” – his version of Russian Roulette using eggs instead of bullets. His performance was highly rated by both the magicians and guests. For a full review Click Here. 5.12.09


James Ward is a semi-professional magician, member of The Magic Circle, and President of the Harrogate Society of Magicians. He has written for several magazines and has delivered lectures to a number of magic societies in the north of England, and, over New Year 2005/6, was invited to perform and lecture in India. His lecture, "Mind, Mirth and Magic", offers a mix of easy-to-do card and mind magic, and concludes with a comedy workshop, which draws on his experience as a freelance TV/radio writer - James has had gags and sketches broadcast on Radio 2, Radio 4, the World Service, BBC1, ITV, S4C (Welsh Television) and in mainland Europe. Humour is a vital part of good, entertaining magic and, hopefully, by the end of the lecture, you will, in addition to learning some new tricks, have a better idea of how to script your own comedy patter. Visit the Lecturers page for more information. 5.12.09


The Roy DVD. Roy Zaltsman and Roy Yozevitch are good friends as well as professional Israeli mentalists. On this disc the two Roys teach ten engaging mind reading effects designed to mesmerise audiences in a fun, young spirited and clear manner, with no unnecessary fillers, or tedious explanations. Learn how to take the classics and apply fresh thinking to turn them into innovative ideas for stage and close-up. This is all about time tested practical material which can easily be delivered in a casual way. "I seldom endorse products; however 'Roy' - a DVD from two Israeli innovators, Roy Zaltsman and Roy Yozevitch - is the exception. Their concepts are clever, their personalities are engaging, and their teaching style is casual and comfortable. Roy offers abundant value and solid thinking." Lee Earle. Visit for more info and to order. 5.12.09


Conjuring at the Court - Matinee Show for Children. The show for Children at 2pm features Peter Pinner and Scott Penrose. It’s a show for children but it’s not childish – adults will be highly entertained and baffled too. Peter’s fun-packed shows are carefully chosen from his extensive repertoire of colourful and baffling magic – he is a Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle. Ventriloquism with Donut the ‘Talking’ Dog. Hilarious routines with his delightful balloon animals. Masses of audience participation! Scott Penrose is a master magician who makes doves, cards and scarves appear from thin air. He’s performed at the London Palladium and all over the world and we’re proud to have him at the Drayton Court. Venue is the Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Doors open 1.30pm. Show lasts 1½ hours with an interval. Tickets £6 children £8 adults from the website or on the door. 5.12.09


Conjuring at the Court - Evening Show. The regular show features both performers new to the Court and also the return of some of the best of those who have stunned us before. Mike O’Brien is one of Britain’s funniest magicians with a powerful routines and a Sahara-dry humour. Sparks will fly as stylish Scott Penrose entrances everyone by producing doves and cards from nowhere. Michael Pearse has a simple formula: skilful juggling and Irish wit that leaves an audience helpless with laughter. Stephen Barry keeps the audience on the edge of their seats with stunning, fast-paced, up-to-date effects. The show is compered by the magical Neil Henry (photo) who can read minds in a scarily accurate way! Venue is the Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Doors open 7.30pm. Show lasts 2 hours with an interval. Tickets £8 from the website or on the door. 5.12.09


Cabaret in the Basement - York. The Basement Bar, City Screen, York, Tuesday 15th December at 8pm. "Come in from the cold, cuddle up close and enjoy a fun and festive night of music, magic and comedy. The only night where you can enjoy live performances and do arts and crafts at your table. Hosted by Bernard Yak a.k.a The Mysterious Yak. Described (by himself) as the world's most enigmatic and mysterious magical performer, Bernard introduces the best acts he and his Mum could find... Robin James, Blackbeard's Teaparty, The Black Propoganda Company and The Littlemores." Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Available from City Screen York, box office 08707 583219 or book online at Free mince pies and mulled wine for advance ticket holders. Door open 8pm, show starts at 8.30pm. 5.12.09


Congratulations to South Coast magicians Roy Charles and Nikki Stapleford who recently got married. The multi award winning magical couple married at a service packed with fellow performers in their home town of Portsmouth. Roy and Nikki, who have known each other for over 20 years, first met whilst performing separate acts on the same cabaret circuit in the 80s. They have just returned to the UK after spending their honeymoon in Florida and are now getting ready to start their respective busy Christmas seasons. 5.12.09


Galithia Conexion have just returned from performing on Royal Caribbean's MV Vision of the Seas as a headline act. Despite clocking up over 237 performances since March they still found time to make a success by producing quality photography for magicians and artists including Richie Austin, Gary Jones, Illusionist Scott Pepper and many more. The Photo Monkeys are once again back in the London area for any magicians wishing to book a photo shoot. 5.12.09


Mark James to lecture in Cyprus. Following the release of Supercharged Classics with RSVP Magic and the launch of his new 'ExtraVert' lecture, Mark has been booked to present the lecture for the Cyprus Magic Society next year. The lecture features close up and stand up comedy magic. Described in November's Magic Magazine as 'A first rate performer with a first rate act' Mark is now taking lecture booking via Full details of the lecture as well as Mark's promotional video, reviews and products are all available there. Mark can currently be seen in the new Alakazam trailer for Brian Caswell's Cataclysm at 5.12.09


Young Magician Archie Manners will be going to the Edinburgh Fringe next year with his stage show that combines the history of magic and hypnosis. For any ideas/help/money(!) Archie asks that you please do contact him on 07545 973 238 or His website is 5.12.09


"A challenge for all our seasons" Click Here • "Secret CIA 'Magic' Manual Reveals Cold War Spy Tricks" Click Here • "Britain’s got tea-leaves" Click Here • "Ollie's tour has been just magic" Click Here • "Street magician and celebrity favourite to star at Event Christmas party" Click Here • "Ricky Jay on A Rogue's Gallery, Chicago Magicians, and Wonder" Click Here • "How Joshua Lozoff is, and isn't, like David Copperfield. The mechanics of magic" Click Here • "Arturo Brachetti: Change" Click Here • "Greg Frewin's grand illusions" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome. Many thanks for all your contributions and see you next week, Duncan. 5.12.09