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"The Magician, The Magic Shows and The Entertainment"

20 December 2012

Festive Funnies #3

Festive greeting to you all and I hope you're all ready for Christmas. After the popularity of last years Festive Funnies 1 & 2 I thought I'd follow them up with #3. Hope you enjoy...

Don't forget to spread the laughs, share these funny festive cartoons with your friends by using the share buttons below... 

...Merry Christmas Folks

1 December 2012

Why Flash Fiction?

What is Flash Fiction?
Flash Fiction has been around for years and is becoming increasingly prevalent in today's literary community. Flash is also know by various other names including: Micro Fiction, Postcard Fiction and Sudden Fiction. Whatever you call it, it is basically a story with extreme brevity. There is no standard length for this sort of writing, but when it comes to competitions 300 - 500 words is fast becoming the norm.

The challenge is to strip away the frills and be left with the hard core of the story. But don't be fooled. Just because a piece flash may only contain a few words this doesn't make it any-the-less beautifully artistic.In fact, the opposite can true; the simplicity of a piece who's words have been carefully chosen and crafted can be beautiful and inspiring.

Why Write Flash Fiction?
There are many reasons that you might like to write flash fiction. Writing a normal short story (1000 -5000 words) can take days, if not weeks to complete. An 80,000 word novel will be months and months of hard slog just to get a first draft. But with Flash Fiction the end result can be there in hours. Within a short space of time you can create, write, edit and finished a complete story. This fact alone can be quite confidence building and give you almost instant gratification.

Take a Break
You may be dead set on writing and completing your novel but when writers block strikes - and it will - take a break. 'A Change can be as good as a rest', that's the saying... and it's true. You may want to take your main character and thrust them into a new situation. You may have an idea that can't be used in your novel, take it and turn it into a piece of flash fiction. A very short story may just spark idea's for that block-buster novel you're working on.

Trying New Genre's and Styles
Flash Fiction is a great way to try out your writing skills with different genres. You may be writer of crime at heart, and trying to write a piece of science fiction or fantasy in a longer form may cause problems. Setting yourself  a target - 300 words is my favorite - will allow you the opportunity to try out new styles and genres without using masses of time.

It's a Great Exercise
Writing a short story with such a limited amount of words is difficult and that's why flash-flash is a great exercise for any writer. The practice of writing a short story and then whittling down, and pruning the word count until it fits your target limit is challenging.  Even more of challenge is the feat of squeezing all the essentials of a story - character, plot, narrative, conflict and resolution - using so few words.

One way to quickly reduce your word count is to rip out all adjectives and adverbs, and after you've done it you may be pleasantly surprised at how emotional and descriptive a story can be even when stripped bare of all descriptive words.

Using Flash to Your Advantage
Whether it's a novel or an anthology of short stories you're working on - flash fiction can help. It's always good to have a publishing history to show those prospective publishing editors. By getting a few short stories published gives you nice track record and also supplies any interested editor with some samples of your work from which they can judge your ability.

Entering flash competitions, organised by reputable organizers who use well-known and successful published authors, is another great way to not only prove your worth, but also to get your work in front of established authors and large audiences. Do well and good publicity could come your way.

In Conclusion
Flash fiction is a great way of learning how to tighten up your writing skills, the careful use of words is absolutely essential here. The production of a complete story is confidence building and gratifying. With novels being so time consuming flash offers a chance to try out new voices and genres, and can lead to publication if good enough and sent to the right places.

So, why not put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard as the case may be, and if you haven't already, give flash fiction a go. start writing now...

...Long live Flash Fiction.

29 November 2012

Your Age By Chocolate

This is clever, fun and different... go on give it a try.

Work your age out via Chocolate.

Whatever you do don't tell me your age.

This is good so please don't cheat by scrolling down to the bottom first!

It takes less than a minute.

Work it out as you read...

...but don't read the bottom before you've worked it out!

This is not a waste of time it's great fun...

Let's Begin:

1.  Pick a number of times you'd like to indulge in chocolate each week (Not 0 and less than 10).

2.  Multiply this number by 2 (I'll wait why you get you calculator).

3. Add 5.

4. Multiply it by 50.

5. If you've already had your birthday this year add 1762. if not add 1761.

6. Now subtract the four digit year you were born.

7. You should now have a three digit answer.

8. The first digit of this is your original number chosen. The last two numbers are your age!!!

Now that really is magic!

And this year, 2012, is the only year it will ever work with, so...

...come on share this page before the year runs out...

21 November 2012

A little something to make you laugh & keep you healthy

In this stressful world that we live in anything that can bring a smile to our faces or make us laugh is good for our heath - and that's official.

A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. Well, that may not be strictly true but research has proven that a good chuckle is beneficial to our health. Laughter as a reaction to certain stimuli like a joke, a funny noise, someone tickling you, something visually funny or it could even be someone else laughing that makes you laugh but which ever it is - having a good giggle is a very healthy thing to do.

True Fact: 100 laughs are equivalent to 10 minutes rowing or 15 minutes biking!

Laughter triggers healthy physical changes to your body and it will strengthen your immune system, boost your energy levels, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. The good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even when the laughter has subsided, helping you to keep a positive, optimistic outlook even during illness, difficult situations, disappointments and loss. And, the best part about laughter is that this priceless medicine is fun, free and easy to use.

And, laughter is also infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sneeze or yawn. If you need proof of just how infectus laughter is take a look at the video below. It's taken from a Flemish chat show - Boemerang -  it's host Erik Hartman, just can't stop laughing. And, if you watch the video you'll end up doing exactly what he's doing. It really is that infectious - take a look.

If you haven't already guessed, it's not a real chat show or a real chat show host. This clip comes from top Flemish comedy series "In De Gloria", and Erik Hartman is in real life actor Tom Van Dyck. In fact, all those involved are members of the cast. But, whether its fake or not you've got to admit it's funny, and it really does prove that laughter is infectious.

So, there you go, you've had a some great entertainment, a good laugh, a gentle work out and you should be feeling a whole lot better, too.

Now you can go off and enjoy the rest of your day.... 

...But don't forget to come back and visit this blog again soon for more laughs.

4 November 2012

The Magnificent Duo on their Trapeze

You may have seen trapeze acts before - men and women flying through the air with greatest of ease, but with this act you won't find any jumping from swing to swing, instead you'll see lots of superbly choreographed dance moves combined with some breath-taking drops and catches and in this piece entitled - 'Tango in the Sky' you will see that the two performers involved have taken the trapeze act to new heights - not literally, of course, but artistically - I don't think you'll see a better more polished act anywhere.

The performers are Russian Trapeze artists, Elena and Dmitri Artemiev, who are better known by their stage name - 'Duo Artemiev'. This Russian couple have risen very quickly to the top of their game. They trained in 'Art on the Trapeze' at the Old Moscow Circus School and were quickly hailed as the best artistic discovery of that year. This performance was taken from the famous French television show by Patrick Sebastien - 'Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde' which when translated into English means - 'The Worlds Greatest Cabaret'. 

'Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde' is now into its thirteenth successful season and is always filled with incredible speciality acts including those of magic, juggling, trapeze, acrobatics, comedy, high wire, mime, burlesque and more. But every act has one thing in common - they are all acts of the highest possible calibre. Oh how I wish we had something like this on British television!

After you've watched the video below I'm sure you'll agree that it really is the most beautifully artistic and impressive trapeze act you've ever seen. So, why not sit back and relax for the five minutes it'll take to watch this wonderful piece of cabaret. Enjoy.

Below is another act that was featured on Le Plus Grand Carbaret Du Monde, that I thought you might like to see. This time it's magician and illustionist Victor Voitko with his beautiful 'Flying Linking Rings' routine and once again here Voitko, like Duo Artemiev, has pushed the boundaries to give us a brand new take an age old piece of magic.

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.


  • 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

27 September 2012

The Magical English Alphabet

The Magical English Alphabet
It’s unbelievable isn’t it! Just twenty-six letters make up the English alphabet and yet the number of words that can be created from those few singular characters - that we all take for granted - is astonishingly high. 

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 600,000 main headwords, but the actual number is far higher and grows daily. Armed with these words there is no limit to what you can write, the only restriction is your imagination.

It has been estimated — I didn’t count them myself — that a staggering 130,000 new books are published every year in the United Kingdom alone (No wonder its hard to get a novel published). The figure for the United States of America is even higher, at nearer the 200,000 mark. These figures should be taken as a rough guide because they don't take into consideration the huge amount of titles, such as local history books, text and reference books or self-published items that are produced without an ISBN number.

Add to this the enormous quantity of written work that appears in newspapers, magazines, web content, advertising leaflets, brochures, emails, texts, private diary entries, letters - and, of course, blogs like this then you’ll begin to realise what a colossal amount of literature there, and I don’t think there is a number to express its figure?

I think it’s amazing that all of those classic works of literature, plays, poems, sonets, lyrics, television and film scripts, the bible and everything that will be written in the future, is only possible because of those twenty-six little letters (with of course some help from those punctuation symbols we all know and love).

And that is why I think the English alphabet is so magical.

21 September 2012

Norman Wisdom and Bruce Forsyth live at the London Palladium

The Legendary Bruce Forsyth and Norman Wisdom
The Legendary Bruce Forsyth and Norman Wisdom
If you like Norman Wisdom and Bruce Forsyth then you're going to love this. It's the famous and very rarely seen "Wallpaper Sketch" which was first seen live at the London Palladium in 1961. 

After Equity refused to let any of its members perform on that weeks edition of  "Sunday Night at the London Palladium" the show looked to be in jeopardy. But, it was Bruce Forsyth, aguably its most popular host, and the legendary Norman Wisdom who saved the day. This most famous edition see's our two hero's fill the entire hour-long programme with their own material. The only regular item to appear that week was the very popular game show segment "Beat the Clock" - everything else was pure unadulterated Wisdom and Forsyth.

I've pick what I believe to be a classic comedy sketch featuring two of our countries most loved and treasured entertainers. "The Wallpaper Sketch" sees the two boys attempting to decorate a small room. There's a lot of slapstick fun and laughs here as we watch this great sketch performed to perfection. 

I think you'll agree it's great fun, well worth a watch and loaded with laughs. Although they had little time to rehearse their years of experience and superb ability as entertainers served them well - they knew how to work impromptu and the result is an amazing show. Take a look, at this seven and a half minute routine and watch as two legends  - Sir Norman Wisdom OBE and Sir Bruce Forsyth perform this memorable sketch.

18 September 2012

Artist creates magical timelapse video - 'Empire State of Pen'

Patrick Vale - Artist
Artist Patrick Vale took several days to draw his incredible piece of art which is entitled 'Empire State of Pen'. But in this video (below) you will see the skyline of downtown Manhattan, as seen from the Empire State Building perspective, appear in front of your eyes in just 80 seconds.

Using time-lapse videoing techniques, the London based artist, illustrator and animator draws by hand and the buildings rapidly pop up right in front of your eyes. The flat iron building lies in the foreground, while Brooklyn and Verrazzano Bridges sit on the eastern edge, and Jersey City's Goldman Sachs Tower flank the western edge.

After marvelling at video clip - that I've watched many times and haven't tired of yet - and the incredible finished picture that Vale produces at the end, I think you'll agree that its one of those magical things that just seems to get better each time you watch.

I was so impressed that I wanted to see more of his work - and I'm pretty sure you will too. Check out the video below, and more of Patrick Vales work here

15 September 2012

The Jovers - A Class Act

The Jovers - A Class Act
The video clip you're about to watch (Below) features husband and wife team - Wilfred and Fe - The Jovers performing live at the MGM in Reno in 1980. Its a wonderful clip that is bound to make you laugh.

The Jovers were a top-of-the-bill act during the sixties through to the eighties. Their career saw them  travelling the world, performing on cruises, in hotels and theatres, and on television making appearances on the likes of The Liberace and The Ed Sullivan Shows.

In 1969 an appearance in Miami lead to them being spotted and signed to appear in a revue at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. This stint in "the city that never sleeps" was far from their last appearance  - they were sort after for many years to come.

Their act was a of the traditional vaudeville style and was filled with incredible comedy, panache and verve the like of which most specialty acts of this type could only dream of. It was, and still is, hilariously funny, superbly witty and has some clever acrobatic moves too - put this together with Fe's (Pronounced fay's) contagious laugh and you have an act that is, well... perfect.

Eighty-three-year-Old, Fe Jover is, of course, retired, lives in the mountains with her daughter near Show Lo. Sadly Wilfred, her husband and partner, passed away just a few months ago.

Now you've heard about The Jovers why not watch this classic comedy specialty act, that I know you'll love, and then share the laughter with all your friends using the share buttons below. Thanks.

Update: After writing this, I was surprised and delighted to find that Fe Jover herself had somehow found my little piece, read it and left this lovely comment below:

"I was just playing around on my PC and came upon your page about my husband and myself. You pretty much have it all down. You may be surprised to know that I am still performing. So many funny things happened to us during our career that I decided to talk about them and make every one laugh.So this is what I do. I still laugh and they laugh at me and so it goes. "  - Fe Jover