I first got interested in magic at the usual age of around 7. My mother
bought me a magic set and a magic book for my Christmas, the name of the
book escapes me and I would love to find it again for a keepsake; I recall
the last effect was ‘ How to make a light bulb glow in your hand’.
I loved ‘Peters Magic Pipes’ in a comic that was around at the time (I
can’t remember if it was the Dandy or Beezer or perhaps the Sparky, but I
know you're thinking of the five of hearts;o)). He would walk by advertising
hoardings advertising sweets or toys and blow his magic pipes and they
would become real.
I practiced a lot then but my practice was more of the walking around in a
cape (curtain) and waving my magic wand at things.
I loved the Paul Daniels magic shows (I have all of them on video) and
dare I say I even remember David Nixon on TV.
I drifted away from magic when I was in high school because I formed a
Rock Band called ‘Militia’ then ‘Running Scared’ and this took me right
through until I was in my late twenties. By then I had realised that my
chances of rock stardom were doomed and looked around for other ways to
get my kicks.
It was then that my interest in magic was rekindled. I bought ‘The Mark
Wilson Course in Magic’ book and fell in love with magic all over again.
I have always had an interest in Tarot cards and for a good few years read
many books on the history and meanings of the cards, resulting in me going
around doing readings for people, mainly groups of women having Tarot
parties, where I would go along and do individual readings for the group
whilst they drunk wine and fretted over what the cards would tell them.
I still love the history and imagery of Tarot cards but unfortunately I
grew troubled by the importance the women were putting on the cards and
felt I had to stop the readings. I wasn’t happy being associated with
other readers who were happy to exploit and capitalise on that fear.
This led me to my main interest in magic, Mentalism.
It is all the rage now but when I was first learning mentalism it was
looked upon as boring and ‘easy’, magic for magicians who can’t do
sleights, well, Derren Brown has shown people how exciting and powerful
mentalism can be.
I opened a TV & Video repair shop in 1993 and ran that until March 2001
when I shut up shop and decided to try and make a living being a full time
I love my job. I get to do what I like doing and I get paid for it, not
may people can say that and I think myself as privileged that I can.
I mainly do private parties and corporate functions. I have never done
kids shows, in fact I don’t even know how to do a balloon dog so imagine
trying to do an hour….no thanks, leave that to the experts.
I also have a comedy stage act that I perform with my wife Mhairi, called
‘The Great Nardini’. I used to do this act as a solo thing until Ali Bongo
saw the act in Dundee many years ago and suggested that Mhairi get more
involved, very good advice as together we managed to develop it into an
award winning act, culminating in our proudest achievement, winning the
comedy prize at FISM in the Netherlands in 2003.
Since then we have had the privilege to perform the act at gala shows and
conventions all over Europe and also in Las Vegas and The Magic Castle in
As well as performing magic I have recently started to sell some of my
effects to fellow magicians and have a few more items that I am working on
at the moment. You can contact me via
I suppose I can’t use this to plug my own effect ‘The Looking Glass’ :o),
so I would have to say that I don’t actually have a favourite trick as
such. I like very much any effect where the spectator gives you a look
that says “You can’t read minds….can you?” or some such response where
they know you are a magician and therefore are using trickery but a part of
them still thinks…..?????, and the simplest of tricks can achieve this if
Really hard to choose but if pushed I would have to choose two, for
starting out – ‘The Mark Wilson Course in Magic’ as this has everything in
it and is explained very well also. And ‘Mind Myth & Magick by T.A.
Waters as this book has a great range of styles and effects for the
budding mentalist to build from.
Again very difficult as I have many favourites, Bill Malone, Derren Brown,
Tommy Cooper, but if pushed I’d say David Williamson….. pure talent. When
he is performing he lives the part and gives 110%
Top Magic Quote
I don’t really have a top quote as such, more like top advice. I’ve been
very lucky to have been given great advice from many talented and
respected people, Ali Bongo, John Archer to name two, but a friend Bill
Seagraves aka ‘The Great Notso’ said to me when he saw me perform The
Great Nardini many years ago for the first time, when I used to say a few
lines during the act, that he loved the act, but felt that the part where
I spoke had the danger of killing the character I had built in the
spectators mind. Also keeping it silent would make it possible to perform
anywhere in the world.... Great advice.
Top Magic Moment
Easy this time, winning our award at FISM in Den Hague 2003. I remember
sitting beside Nick Einhorn and congratulating him on his award and then
in a blur, hearing “and the winner is….The Great Nardini” and I remember
Nick congratulating us as we got up to collect the trophy….nice
moment…won't forget it.