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31 October 2012

Funny Halloween Animation

Happy Halloween - Andy's Magic
Halloween means 'Trick or Treat' and, as you can guess I normally bring the tricks... Boom-Tish. But today I thought I'd supply a treat in the form of this very comical short piece (2 mins 30 secs) of animation entitled "Daphne's New Broom" by Ales Mav.  

Watch as Daphne, the witch, tries to take a trip on her new broom with disastrous and hilarious consequences. It's funny, it's likeable and it's a great bit of fun for Halloween, and when you consider this was made by one guy who took just over six months to complete the work - rigging, modelling, animating, lighting and rendering - well, I think that's awesome . 

I love the frog, watch out for him.




Enjoy your Halloween and remember...
...Eat, drink and be scary.




30 October 2012

Delicious Halloween Pumpkin Soup with Marco Pierre White

Andy's Magic - Magician
Marco Pierre White - Master Chef
With the cold winter evening drawing in, there's nothing more magical than a bowl of piping hot soup with crusty bread and butter. And, with Halloween nearly upon us what better time to learn how to make a simple but tasty soup, and one that is a perfect match for Halloween... Pumpkin Soup.

I'm not going to tell you how to make this soup, I thought I'd leave that to an expert and who better than the man who, at the age of 33, became the youngest ever chef to receive three Michelin stars. I am, of course, referring to Marco Pierre White. Below is his video that takes you step by step through the recipe and ends with delightful way to present the finished product.




Here's wishing everyone a Happy and Magical Halloween and don't forget...

...enjoy your soup.

All the best for future
Wedding Magician Andy's Magic

26 October 2012

Have a Brain Hemorrhage this Halloween.

Magicial Halloween Brain Hemorrhage
Andy's Magic Brain Hemorrhage Cocktail
What is your tipple going to be this Halloween? Will you be sticking with your normal beer, larger or wine? Or will you be brave enough to try one of these ghastly looking cocktails (See photo to the left).

The cocktail is called a Brain Hemorrhage, for obvious reasons, but don't let its appearance put you off - it's actually quite nice, and very alcoholic.

Ah, I see, so you're interested to find how to make one. Okay,  here's the recipe...


Brain Hemorrhage Recipe
  • Pour 3/4 oz of Peach Schnapps in a suitable glass.
  • Float 1 - 2 Table spoons of Bailey's on top.
  • Drop 1 Tea Spoon of Grenadine through the Baileys.
  • Now sit back and watch the magical transformation take place.


It does look awful, I know but as the old saying goes: "Never judge a book by it's cover" and it's certainly true in this case because it actually tastes wicked - just like Peaches and Cream!

Go on be a little devil have a Brain Hemorrhage this Halloween...


21 October 2012

Norman Wisdom on The Des O'Connor Show

Over the years Des O'Connor has managed to attract some of the biggest names in entertainment on to his show including: Barbara Striesand, Meryl Streep, Bet Miller, Joe Pasquale, Freddie Starr, Bob Monkhouse, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, The Spice Girls, Take That and who can forget the now famous interview with Stan Boardman, and his joke about the German Aeroplanes with very rude sounding names.

But one of my favourites, and a man who made many appearances on Des' show over the years, was comedy legend, Sir Norman Wisdom. The little man who started his career with a gump suit and a flat cap, and who will be best remembered for his hit song "Don't Laugh at Me" and his catch phrase "Mr Grimsdale", never fails to make me laugh.

I remember watching this show, that the clip below comes from, when it was first aired and I laughed so much I ended up with tears rolling down my face.

Just watch as Des tries to get Norman to tell a joke. But our Norman just can't get to the end because he's is laughing so much. And, keep an eye on Des as he desperately tries to keep his trouser up - it's hilarious and well worth a watch... pure magic.


I hope this gave you a laugh and don't forget...

... come back soon and see what's new.




20 October 2012

Andy's Amazing Sticky Popcorn Cake

William with Sticky Popcorn Cake
If you've been looking for a quick and easy cake to make then this is the one for you. It's ideal for any party - the kids and adults will love it, and it can be made in ten minutes... What more can you ask for.

Although there is no actual cooking required with this recipe, you will have need to heat and melt some of the ingredients, but once that's done it's just a simple matter of mixing all the ingredients together pouring them into a cake tin or bowl and then leaving it in the fridge to cool and set.... it couldn't be easier.

This is a great cake for any party whether it's a birthday, Christmas or Halloween. The photo on the left is one I made earlier (first attempt)  and my little boy (Pictured) loved it. If I can make it, then anyone can. So, what are you waiting for... here are the ingredients and the instructions.


Ingredients.

  • 175g (6oz) of Pop Corn - Sweet or Toffee the choice is yours.
  • 500g (1 1/4 Ib) of Smarties or M&M's.
  • 150g (5oz) of Peanuts.
  • 5 table spoons of vegetable oil.
  • 125g (4 1/4 oz) of butter.
  • 500g (1 1/4 oz) Marshmallows

Preparation Instructions.
  1. Place Smarties, Peanuts and Popcorn in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Heat butter, oil and marshmallows in a saucepan slowly until completely melted.
  3. Pour over popcorn mix, and blend together with spoon.
  4. Grease a cake tin well and then pour mixture in and firm lightly into the tin.
  5. Place cake into to fridge until it's cooled and set.
  6. Remove cake carefully from tin.
  7. Slice and eat.

Note: This recipe is very versatile. We replaced the nuts with Maltesers, because my lad doesn't like nuts. It's a great recipe and limited by only your imagination. 

Give your kids a "Trick" and a great "Treat"...

Happy Halloween, Folks

Andy's Magic - Entertainer








18 October 2012

The Secret of Crickley Hall


Suranne Jones in The Secret of Crickley Hall - Coming soon
If you're looking for a good scare this winter then watch out for the BBC's new three part drama coming very soon... 

The Secret of Crickley Hall is based on the 2006 best-selling book by, number one horror-fiction writer, James Herbert. 

Adapted by Doctor Who and Apparitions' writer Joe Ahearne, rumours have it that he's turned out a very decent-looking haunted house horror story - I can't wait to see it.

This Spine-chilling horror drama will be airing on BBC1 in November and will star Suranne Jones (Coronation Street, Scott and Bailey) and Tom Ellis (Miranda, Fades) in the lead roles. The show also includes an all-star line-up including: David Warner, Sarah Smart, Douglas Henshall, Donald Sumpter and Iain De Caestecker.

The Plot

A year after their son, Cameron, goes missing Eve (Suranne Jones) and Gabe (Tom Ellis) decide to rent the mansion that seems to be an ideal new home - that mansion is Crickley Hall. They hope a change of scenery will be good for them all; a fresh start that should help with the healing process and put their horrible past behind them - that's what they hope! But then it starts! First Eve believes she's receiving messages from her son, then come the strange sounds from cupboards, lights go on and off,  the cellar door opens of its own accord, the sound of crying children is heard in the night, the garden swing slowly sways but there's no one on it, a spinning top spins by its self and pools of water appear on the floor of the hall -  things are starting to get scary. And, at the centre of the whole thing is a frenzied spectre and the horrible sound of a cane hitting flesh - Thwack, thwack, thwack.

The Mansion, Crickley Hall, was once a boarding school for orphans during the war, run by a vile, sick and twisted brother and sister. As the story unfolds, this drama will switch between 1943 and modern day.

What really happened at Crickley hall in 1943? Is Eve really receiving messages from her missing son? And what is the connection between Cameron and Crickley Hall?

The Book

Crickley Hall - The Book
I read the book when it first was first published and just couldn't stop reading. This really is a master-piece of storytelling. It's a cracking modern day, haunted house chiller that will keep you reading. I've read all of Mr Herbert's books (The Rats, Fluke, The Fog, Haunted, Nobody True, The Magic Cottage, and I'm now reading his latest Ash - highly recommended) but for me Crickley Hall stands out as one of his best. The characterizations are wonderful, the plot is superb - with loads of amazing twists that will leave you gasping - and the build-up is simply perfect.

If this TV adaptation turns out to be only half-as-good as James Herbert's novel then we really are in for a treat . 

The Secrets of Crickley Hall will be aired on three consecutive Sundays starting on the 18th November and finishing on the 2nd  December. Get ready to set your Sky+ and Tivo Boxes - you won't want to miss it.

To get a glipse of what to expect take a look at the trailer below...





If you've never read James Herbert...

...then you've never been frightened.



The French Way to Lose Weight...


When I came across the advert below I quickly realised that it was a perfect example of how to play with peoples curiosity, engage them, entertain them and then, once done, you'll be able to sell them anything.

Marcel, a Paris based advertising agency, did this stunt for the launch of Nestle's 
Contrex Mineral Water following the above philosophy. The mineral water, which has a high calcium content that supposedly speeds up the metabolism, thus burning calories and helping those who drink it to lose weight, is part of the huge Vitell mineral water group.

The French 'Contrexperience' commercial is a fun and clever advert that is obviously aimed at the ladies since it features a group of women who apparently burn 2000 calories in just a few minutes as they pedal exercise bicycles that power a neon male stripper.

I've got know idea whether it works but its one of those adverts that makes you sit up and pay attention and brings a smile to your face. It's a perfect mix of a product and a message with humour, entertainment and a great soundtrack - the music is from "Comment te dire adieu", a song made famous in the sixties by French singer Fracoise Hardy.

I think this is an inspired advert and that's why I'm sharing it with you now. The concept is original, its delivery delightful and it impressively raises the advertising bar in a market normally strewn with clich├ęs. Take a look now and see if you agree with me.



Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.

All the best for the future...


15 October 2012

Scary, Spooky, Awesome Music for Halloween

It's nearly Halloween and here, to get you in the mood, are ten of the best Halloween related music video's around - in my opinion. Let me know your favourites.







Thriller: This must be the ultimate Halloween song and video. This song, the title track to what would become the biggest selling album in history by Michael Jackson, was turned in a master piece of a music video. When it came out it was damn scary with it's state of the art effects and incredible choreography - it changed the face of the music video forever.  No one will dispute the brilliance of this song and video... it really is a Thriller!





The Monster Mash: There is one song that must be on everyone's playlist at Halloween and it's this classic by Bobby "Boris" Picket with his fun, novelty hit from 1962 - The Monster Mash. Get the fog machine going and get ready to do the Monster Mash...





Ghostbusters: This is a light-hearted song that comes from the smash hit eighties film of the same name. Sung by Ray Parker Jr this was a smash hit and a song guaranteed to get feet tapping at any party. Who you gonna call...




The Devil Went Down to Georgia: This song will get even those who don't like country music dancing. Brilliant lyric's, a fantastic story and incredible violin playing from Charlie Daniels makes this a perfect Halloween song, and it's a wonderful animated video that accompanies it.





The Adams Family: This 1964 hit comedy series became just as famous for it's wacky theme tune. It really does deserve a spin on any turn table, so make sure get this playing at your Halloween Party.






This is Halloween: From the film brilliant film by Tim Burton - The Nightmare before Christmas, This is Halloween is a marvellous track but the version I've chosen here is not the original - although that is superb,  but it's Marylin Manson's very spooky version. I love it, and I'm sure you will too...




The Theme to Halloween: It don't get any spookier than this. From the original John Carpenter movie that starred Jamie lee Curtis and Donald Pleasants. The music in any film really creates the atmosphere and this music always sends a shiver up my spine whenever I listen to it and that's why I've included it here.





Werewolves of London: This is a must play track. Warren Zervon's atmospheric tune featuring Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac fame, on Drums. It's been used in many, many movies over the years and one song I always expect to hear at any Halloween Party.



Bark at the Moon: Ozzy Osbourne one time lead singer with Black Sabbath and the man who famously bit a head off a bat, went solo and produced this brilliant rock song from the album of the same name. It's a great song to get down and rock too - awesome!




The Raven: This song takes its name from the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In 1974 The Alan Parson's Project, a progressive rock band, released their first album titled "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" a collect of songs that retell the stories and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. This piece is wonder, as is the video.




Songs worthy of a mention

Here are a few more Halloween type songs that are well worthy of a play at any Halloween party...

Abracadabra - The Steve Miller Band
Bad Moon on the Rise - Creedence Clear Water
The Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Tubular Bells - Exorsist Theme- Mike Oldfield
Bat out of Hell - Meatloaf
What's that coming over the Hill -The Automatic
The Theme to The Twilight Zone
Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Happy Halloween Folks


Corporate Entertainment at AKW Medicare's Dinner Conference

Warriors Academy MagicOn Thursday 29th September, I attended (in the guise of a corporate magician) and performed at AKW Medicare's Annual Dinner Conference. And, it has to be said, it really was a superb evening that was held in an equally good venue - the Warriors' Academy, Worcestershire, home of the Worcester Warriors.

My Job, as a corporate magician, was to entertain, amaze and amuse the delegates who were travelling from different parts of the country to be at this event. As they arrived, I mixed and mingled and began performing my amazing feats of magic and mind-reading. I continued performing around the tables, in-between courses and, after being told that it was someone's birthday, I decided to get the gentleman in question up in front of the audience so that everyone could sing "Happy Birthday" - but not, of course, until the birthday boy, Mr Paul Tingy, had helped with a spot of mentalism - and there were a few laughs along the way, too. 

By the end of the evening, I think my mission, as corporate magician, was completed successfully, everyone seemed very happy and I've since received some lovely comments. The evening was brilliantly organised, the venue was top notch, the food looked superb, the atmosphere was wonderful, and AKW's staff and guests were a pleasure to perform to. Everyone was keen to get involved, to see my little miracles and to be entertained.

Thanks to AKW Medicare Ltd, their CEO, Paul Massey, and his PA, Jacqui Morley for booking my services. I hope we all meet again very soon.

A few selected photo's of the event...

... and Andy Kirk - Corporate Mgaician in action.


Magician and Entertainer Andy Kirk / Andy's Magic
Wedding Magician and Entertainer Andy Kirk
Corporate Magician - Andy Kirk - Andy's Magic
Andy's Magic - Corporate Magician - Andy Kirk

5 October 2012

The Limerick What I Wrote...

Last year, 2011, I attend a comedy writing session hosted by the then poet laureate of Worcester, Theo Theobald. Held in the function room above the fantastic Little Venice  Italian Restaurant, it really was a fun, entertaining and informative evening. One of the exercises we were set by Theo, was to write a joke or limerick. I don't know why, but I plumped for the latter and below is the result, which I thought I would share with all you you. I hope it brings at least a little smile to your faces...


The Macgruff Limerick by Andy Kirk




A magician called The Great Macgruff
was finding life just a little bit tough.
When people said he was gay,
well, he didn't run a way.
Instead, he disappeared with a "Poof".


The Macgruff Limerick by Andy Kirk ©2011

2 October 2012

David Jason - The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs

Edgar Briggs Rare Series David Jason
David Jason - Edgar Briggs
David Jason is one of our best loved comedy actors and most famous for his his role as Del Trotter in the long running BBC series - Only Fools and Horses. He was, of course, superb as Gr-Granville in Open All Hours; very cool as Inspector Frost in A Touch of Frost, and he was "Perfeck" as Pop Larkin in the Darling Buds of May... but who remembers his performance in the early seventies sitcom The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs?

I do actually remember watching this series as a youngster and enjoying it, too. The story follows the hopelessly clumsy and totally clueless Edgar Briggs, who somehow manages to land the job of personnel assistant to the Commander of the British Secret Service. But despite his uselessness he somehow manages, week after week, to solve the case in hand.

The series also starred Mark Eden, who later found fame playing Alan Bradley in Coronation Street. Thirteen episodes were made - unlucky for some, and it was unlucky for the cast of the show, as a second series was never commissioned.

David Jason - A Sharp intake..
I'd love the chance to see this series in its entirety but it seems that chance may never come. Some years ago ITV decided to repeat the programme, all the cast granted permission with the exception of it's star 'David Jason' who vetoed the plan because he thought he looked to raw in those days and didn't want to share these performances with the public. His decision not only stopped us, his loyal fans, from seeing early performances of this television legend, but also meant that other member of the cast were denied a chance at receiving much-needed repeat fees. He also took the same action with two other programmes he starred in: ITV'S - A Sharp In-Take of Breath" and BBC'S - "Lucky Feller". All of these programmes are also unavailable on DVD and only a few, short clips are available on You Tube, and who knows, perhaps these may be taken off one day, too.

So take a look at the clip below and enjoy this rare treat - David Jason as the hapless Edgar Briggs (with German Subtitles for those listening in French).



Norman Wisdom - Norman's Superstore Advert

Sir Norman Wisdom is famous for falling over, laughing, and shouting Mr. Grimsdale in those classic black and white comedies of the fifties and sixties. He also hit the top of the chart with his self-penned song: "Don't Laugh at Me ('Cos I'm a fool)". But, do you remember the adverts he appeared in during the eighties?

On my blog, I've already featured his most famous - The Heineken Avert - so I thought, with the festive season upon us, we all need a little treat and a good laugh.The Advert is for Norman's Super Store - I must admit I don't remember them, let alone the advert. It's a very rare and probably forgotten commercial,  so when I discovered it, I knew I just had to share this little gem. And it's worth watching to see the difference in food prices, then and now.

Take a look, have a laugh...

...Merry Christmas Folks



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