When BBC's new prime-time magic show, The Magicians, hit our screens with its first series I wasn't it's biggest fan - in fact, I was surprised it came back for another series. So, it's been with great interest that I've watched the first three episode of the new series.
The format remains roughly the same: three magicians, with celebrity assistants, battling it out, mystifying and entertaining the studio audience in an attempt to gain votes and prove they are the best. But, this time the show has been given a well needed revamp with a new presenter and surprisingly... it's live; it's the first show to be broadcast live on the BBC for over thirty years.
|Craig Revel-Horwood losing his head|
The show is live and as such things can, and have already, not gone as planned proving that anything can and will happen. The changes also see a new presenter in the form of Darren McMullen who replaces Lenny Henry. And, as big-a-fan as I am of Dudley's most famous son, I think most will agree he just didn't work well in this role. McMullen, on the other hand, seems to be settling in nicely.
So what else is new? The "Celebrity Choice" section is replaced by the all new "Close-up Trick - Live"; there's the new feature "Location - Grand Illusion" recorded, as the name suggests, on location. And the shows finale is an apparently dangerous forfeit that the losing team must complete. We do, however, see the return of "Street Magic" and "Grand illusion" that, as with the last series, is performed in the studio, but this time... it's live.
As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the show uses celebrities who are drafted in and have a short time to become a magician. Those who have already appeared include the excellent Keith Duffy, David Hasslehoff, Flavia Cacase, Julia Bradbury, Craig Revel-Horwood, Tyler Drew-Honey and Daniel Roche, Mel Geidroyc, David Haye and Kimberley Wyatt.
|Jason Latimer with David Hasselhoff|
All in all, it's a good show stuffed full of magic, comedy, entertainment and... celebrities, but the key to any shows popularity is - "likability" and, over all, that's what Barry and Stuart, Jason Latimer and Pete Firman bring to this series... Likability!
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