Number 650 - 8th December 2012


Piff the Magic Dragon plays the O2 Arena (that's the 20,000 seater one!). Piff and sidekick Mr Piffles are currently supporting Mumford & Sons on their UK tour. Originally just scheduled to appear with the band on their theatre dates, those dates went so well that they've extended the contract to include larger arena dates too. Which means Piff and Mr Piffles, the Smallest Dog in Showbiz, will now be opening for them at the O2 and other mammoth venues all over the UK. All the shows are in fact sold out, so that's roughly 150,000 people who'll be seeing the act live over the next couple of weeks. Here's a clip of Piff & Mr Piffles with the band at the Princess Theatre in Torquay, from November: Click Here. Mumford & Sons 'Tour of Two Halves' Part Two: 4th December - Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle; 5th - SECC, Glasgow; 7th - LG Arena, Birmingham; 8th - Capital FM Arena, Nottingham; 10th - Manchester Arena, Manchester; 11th - O2, London; 13th - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff; 15th - Odyssey Arena, Belfast; 16th - O2, Dublin; 18th - O2, London. 8.12.12


Steve Truglia's The Card Shark Show opens next Saturday, December 15th... An interactive multi-media show from award winning close-up magician Steve Truglia at the Mayfair Theatre, Mayfair Hotel, Stratton Street, London W1. Opening night 15th December, with performances on 26th and 31st December, and then Fridays and Saturdays from 11th January throughout 2013. Shows start at 7.30pm and some dates have a 9pm show too. Running time: one hour. For bookings, more information and audience comments from a preview night, visit 8.12.12


Luke Jermay Psychic Cabaret... Magic, Mind Reading, Weird Stuff. December 13th, 14th & 15th. An evening of mind reading, telepathy, comedy and mystery at Smoke & Mirrors, Bristol. "This uplifting, witty and highly interactive show is an expert display of intuition and mind reading developed to amazing razor sharp accuracy. Jermay impossibly knows you, your memories, your past, present and future; sometimes even better than you do. From the name of your favorite school teacher, childhood pet, even the colour of your underwear, Jermay seems to impossibly know all, see all and tell all. Jermay believes everyone has the potential to develop their intuition and in Psychic Cabaret, he even teaches how to develop your intuition and psychic powers!" Smoke & Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street, Bristol BS1 5DQ (Map). 8.12.12


Bill Abbott: Pack Smart Play Anywhere. Bill Abbott returns to the UK in January with a brand new lecture. The ‘Pack Smart Play Anywhere’ lecture includes 6 complete stand-up routines that feature General Magic, Geek Magic and Mentalism, all performed as a full show and then explained. The theory of ‘The Pack Smart Play Anywhere’ approach is discussed, examined and demonstrated during the performance. Plus how to develop your own ‘Pack Smart Play Anywhere Show’ to take with you on your next flight, throw into the glove box of your car or perform at your next paid function. See What's On for tour dates. (Note: There are just a few dates still available. For more details contact tour organiser Sean Lobban 8.12.12


Tommy Cooper Jus' Like That! A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher. For the first time, Tommy Cooper’s biographer, writer and producer, John Fisher, collects between two covers the cream of the comedian’s personal archives, with photographs, memorabilia and documents that have never been seen before. Had Cooper kept a scrapbook, this is what he would have produced. Souvenirs from his many stage and television triumphs jostle side by side with candid shots of him at play with his family, many revealing a side to the man the public never really saw. Here is the authentic side of Tommy in the forces, the early show business struggle, the backstage world of his magic, the newspaper coverage of the most recognisable man in Britain, the crazy japes at home with wife Gwen, and so much more. This book, with its brilliant colour images and hilarious text, puts the successive stages of Tommy’s life in full context. And if you don’t want to follow his life in biographical detail, just sit back and relax by laughing at the many jokes that crowd the pages. They tell their own story! This is a large-format (21cm x 29cm) hardback crammed full of Cooper theatrical memorabilia and never-before-seen private photos. Roger Woods reviews Tommy Cooper ‘Jus’ Like That!’ this week, Click Here. To order via Click Here. 8.12.12


The Anglian Magic Society is presenting A Christmas Magic Show on Tuesday 18th December from 8pm to 9.30pm at the White Horse Inn, Trowse, Norwich NR14 8ST (Map). Adults £3.00 children 16 or under £2.00. The show is being held by club members to promote the society and have a fun evening of entertainment. Steve Majes. 8.12.12


New release from Paul Gordon for December 2012: "Paul Gordon’s Gold Dust has been four years in the making. It’s Paul Gordon’s very best writing, very best production and very best magic. 150 worker card routines, 352 jam-packed pages, 140 photos. Gold foil-embossed cloth-covered saddle-stitched hardback. It looks glorious! This is the very best of Paul’s thirty-five years of creating; and all under one great-looking cover! There are tricks for every skill level; beginners through to advanced. Gold Dust contains many new gems, too. And all the older material has been updated, re-written, changed and improved. Gold Dust is only available directly from Paul Gordon and that’s the way it will always be. And there is a price promise inasmuch that the price will never be dropped. See the webpage for contents, video promo and pricing. Also see the reviews of Paul’s magic by Boris Wild, Aldo Colombini, David Regal, Harry Lorayne & others." Visit today! Roger Woods reviews Gold Dust this week, Click Here. 8.12.12's Crazee Christmas Sale... " are having a Crazee Christmas Sale, with discounts of up to 50% on selected items. With items such as Complete Card Magic 4 DVD Set now only £17.24 it is an ideal time to grab some great Christmas presents while stocks last. Remember to keep checking the new items page with many items arriving daily. Now shipping Ellusionist’s Purple Artifice Deck and Sultan Republic Deck with the new Karnival Zray and Earthtone9 decks shipping from 10th December. Free UK standard shipping applies to all orders over £10." 8.12.12


Sherlocked: Mark Elsdon. “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be mindreading…” Mark Elsdon has just released his all-time favourite playing card effect, Sherlocked. This is the one which has fooled everybody who has ever seen it. It is a demonstration of direct mindreading where you seem to be walking around inside the head of not just one, but two stunned participants. All capped with a totally impossible prediction. For full details of the effect and ordering info visit the only place this is available from, Mark’s blog: 8.12.12


The latest free download from Magicseen is now available: "Taster Issue 17 features some of the content from our current issue (issue 47 Nov.12) as well as items from our increasingly large back catalogue. So this time you will find the full article on our current cover star, pro mentalist Paul Stockman, the second part of an informative piece on how to approach a group in a mix and mingle situation, there's a selection of the product reviews, the Masterclass featuring two ideas from Gary Jones, plus a round up of the 30 worst/most cliched patter lines - we dare you to read them and say that you are not using any of them! Then to round up the Taster Issue we offer you a comedy strip cartoon (Deputy Editor Graham Hey has way too much time on his hands!) and a really nice feature on top international performer Tony Chapek. All the above is yours simply for the asking as a free download from" 8.12.12


Wayne Dobson's Christmas Gift for you! A copy of Wayne Dobson's 'Six Masterpieces' featuring Best Friends, Amnesia, Only Joking, Every Time, Perspiration and Once upon a Time will be sent free with every order (excluding downloads) in time for Christmas... Visit for more info and to see what's new. 8.12.12


Origins of Magic: James More Removing A Chicken's Head! "Earlier this year James More took a trip to Germany and Egypt to film a short documentary on the first magic trick ever performed. It's an exciting and interesting watch for anyone interested in the origins of magic. You may recognise James from the first episode of ITV's Penn and Teller: Fool Us and the gala show at the F.I.S.M World Championships of Magic. Take a trip back in time with James, Click Here." 8.12.12


BigBlindMedia have a brand new mega release for Christmas 2012: "Cameron Francis and Liam Montier have collected together their favorite twenty-six card tricks from their mega successful run of eBooks and crammed them all together onto a project called Kapow. It's spread over two DVDs and two eBooks, and is truly amazing material. These are card tricks that hit hard and are as easy to perform as they are fun! Click Here to watch a trailer and performance of Cameron's kick-ass 'Subtle Soto'. You won't need gaffs or hard moves for any of these routines. Just a deck of cards and an audience to blow away! You can buy the cool double DVD set (for a ridiculously low price) or you can grab the BBM exclusive V.I.P. package (photo). This contains the Kapow DVD set, a wicked Tshirt (featuring the Kapow Robot/Dinosaur fight!) plus a deck of limited edition Karnival Carnage Playing Cards! What a Christmas pressie! Who wouldn't want that in their stockings? And if you order now, Liam and Cam have provided a fabulous four trick eBook to send you immediately. So you'll have something to work on right chuffin' now!" 8.12.12


Bicycle Butterfly Deck by - New and in stock: "This deck has been custom designed from the ground up and made for us by The United States Playing Card Company on their famous Bicycle Card stock. With air cushioned finish, they are simply beautiful to use and perfect for all magicians and collectors. Each custom designed deck comes with 56 cards and includes two jokers (one with a hidden prediction printed on its face), a double-backer and one blank-facer, allowing magicians to incorporate this deck into their usual routines. This deck handles as good as it looks and will be something you'll be proud to use time and time again. This deck is a limited edition and numbers are restricted." Order from 8.12.12


Dynamo's Beats and Magic, 12 noon on Saturday 8th December on MTV Music: "We're off to the casino with urban magician Dynamo as he unleashes some of his mind-bending sorcery on you the viewers, and spins some tunes from the likes of Wretch 32, Kanye, Ed Sheeran and Angel." See TV Magic for details. 8.12.12


Frankly Disillusioned: A True Saga of Mystery, Magic & Mayhem by Dean Metcalfe. From the publisher: "Frankly Disillusioned is the crazy, 'rats an’ all' tale of master magician, Dean Metcalfe and his sometimes hilarious, often chaotic, globetrotting adventures with his glamorous assistant and wife, Claudine. Dean explains with honestly and humour, how his and Claudine’s lives turned from a world of dazzling illusions to a world of bitter disillusionment. He candidly tells how their glamorous (?) lifestyle took them at times, to the edge of their endurance and had them sleeping with rats, dropping through the skies and plunging over ravines. This must-read book also offers a revealing insight into the secret world of magic and raises a colossal question mark over the curious and intriguing issue of life after death. Download the book online from Amazon at a special price for 1 week only at £2.99. Also available in paperback late February 2013." Frankly Disillusioned [Kindle Edition] 8.12.12


Liam Sheehan writes: A new book out by Randall Sullivan in the USA features the story of myself living with and entertaining Michael Jackson and his family on their somewhat secret visits to Ireland. As a corporate magician I had the pleasure of living with them for a few weeks and performing magic. The book is called Untouchable. 8.12.12


Playtime Balloons Christmas orders: "Christmas is almost here and the last posting date within the UK mainland is Thursday 20th of December. To avoid any inconvenience please place any last minute orders by Friday 14th December. Playtime Balloons will be closed from Monday 24th December and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2013. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year and thank you all for your continued support. To place your orders go to or call Stuart on 01704 534363." 8.12.12


Tom Owen. Derek Lever, President Blackpool Magicians Club, writes: I am very sorry to inform you that Tom Owen passed away on Sunday after a short illness which created severe breathing difficulties. Tom joined Blackpool Magicians Club in 1954 and was a Past President and Honorary Life Vice President. He was a Joint Convention Organiser for many years and received the prestigious 'Murray Award For Services To Magic'. He was a Past President of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and held the degree of 'Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star'. He will be greatly missed by the magical fraternity.


Mel Harvey writes: I went up to see Tom about two weeks ago and even then he was struggling for breath and on a nebuliser. I have many happy memories of Tom from the time he booked Presto the Magic Rabbit and myself to promote the Blackpool Convention in the Seventies to stunts we pulled together over the years both in this country and America. I started my magic dealing career with Tom as his assistant at various conventions until one day he tripped over a large bag of my puppets and he "suggested" (he was from the North) that I had a stand of my own! On one occasion we were at The Kennedy Hotel on one of Ron's Days and I said I was going home and Tom insisted I stayed and we ended up dragging a mattress from another room to his in the middle of the night! On another occasion at Southport we were seen to be enjoying the "sun" (from the arc lights) outside the Prince of Wales Hotel in deckchairs complete with knotted handkerchiefs at about 1.30 in the morning. Tom was one of my mentors for comedy magic and he gave me the opening gag of my act which I have used to good effect on many cruises. Tom will be surely missed, magic has lost one of its characters.

Elizabeth Warlock writes: When Tom Owen died after a long illness, magic lost one of its most colourful characters. A dealer, comedy performer on stage and in close-up, and past president of both the British Ring and Blackpool Magicians Club, his association with the latter going back to the late 1950s when with Bill Lamb and Harry Dewhirst, he helped to organise the annual convention when it was still in its infancy. Later Tom and Bill would take over as joint organisers of the convention bringing in big magic stars from around the world, and they continued until 1994 when the mantle was passed to Derek Lever and Steve Eastham. It was at the 1962 convention that Tom first appeared as a dealer under the name of Universal Magic. He was a popular performer not only in his home town of Preston, but nationally and in Europe particularly in Malta where he was a regular visitor. His wife Margaret predeceased him, but to his surviving family we offer our condolences in their great loss. He will be sadly missed.


The funeral will take place this Wednesday, 12th December, at 11.15am at Preston Crematorium, Longridge Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 5BP, and afterwards at The Barton Grange Hotel, 746-768 Garstang Road, Barton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5AA. 8.12.12


"Shocking pictures reveal burns to American magician after his head was set on fire on Dominican TV show" Click Here • "Dominican judge orders arrest in US magician case" Click Here • "Arrest warrant issued for TV presenter after magician's face set on fire in botched stunt"  [Warning: The following article from the Mirror contains images and a YouTube video that readers may find distressing] Click Here. 8.12.12


"Northern magician Dynamo on fooling Snoop Dogg and Kim Kardashian, and why he 'never grew up'" Click Here • "Limerick magician casts spell on the Discovery Channel" Click Here • "Magicians wow crowds in Beijing" Click Here • "Incredible magic tricks in China" Click Here • "Magicians wow crowds in Beijing" Click Here • "Cyber-Illusionist Marco Tempest Delivers Keynote Address at ISE 2013" Click Here • "UK Floods: Paul Daniels Tweets Picture Of Deluged Garden In Berkshire" Click Here • Christmas iPad: Click Here • "Stardom beckons for magician Rodd" Click Here • "Illusionist Drew Thomas puts tricks up Atlanta Ballet’s sleeve for ‘Nutcracker’" Click Here • "Illusionist and perfectionist: Alex Ramon learns magic's ropes with Disney, Ringling Bros." Click Here • "Black and Jewish Music, Kentucky Cabinets, Magician Posters" Click Here • Many thanks as always for your UK magic news submissions, they're always welcomed. See you next week, Duncan. 8.12.12