Paul Nardini


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 magician.

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 Hollywood.

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

Top Trick
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 performed right.

Top Book
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.

Top Magicians
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.


© MagicWeek 2006