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"The Magician, The Magic Shows and The Entertainment"

25 January 2012

The Magician's are live at the BBC

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
So, who's in the show? Barry and Stuart proved their worth in the last series and have become the only act to return to the new show, but for me the shrewd move is the addition of Jason Latimer, and Pete Firman. World Champion of Magic, Latimer, brings his superb performing ability and inventiveness and really adds excitement to the show, while Pete Firman stands apart as the one performer who sits most comfortably on-screen, and there is no doubt his style embraces the new live format.

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
In my opinion, there is a great improvement in the whole show compared to the first series and if it continues to improve, we could see "The Magicians" returning for a third series - but, of course, only time will tell on that one.

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!

       Follow the stars of the show on Twitter:

17 January 2012

Is this the World's best magician?

David Copperfield or David Chesterfield? Word has it that he comes from Birmingham or Bromsgrove. Well, Whoever he is and where-ever he comes from, he's good...

14 January 2012

Morcambe and Wise - The Disappearing Piano Routines

We all know that Morecambe and Wise were, and still are, magical to watch but have you seen these classic disappearing piano routines? Take a look now and have a laugh...

5 January 2012

Help! My Supply Teacher's a Magician...

"Magicians undercover"

A new CBBC TV series will see a group of magicians going under cover as they try and fool children - at real schools - into believing they are proper supply teachers. The real fun starts when magical things start happening right there in their classrooms. It should be great fun to watch the children's reactions as seemingly impossible, eye-popping, jaw-dropping things start to happen right in front of their eyes.

The first episode of this fast-paced series, made by Objective Productions, will be aired on Tuesday 17th January at 5:45pm and is set for an impressive thirteen week run. Devised and produced by fellow magician, Anthony Owen, this programme looks certain to be a massive hit with children and adults alike.

Regular features will include: Undercover Magic, where magicians are unleashed on the unsuspecting public; Tricks of the Trade, where magicians will demonstrate how to perform tricks on their friends; Interactive Illusion, which features tricks the audience at home can play along with, and That was Awesome, which features all the magicians performing together.

The show will star magicians: Fergus Flanagan, Katherine Mills, James Went and - 'The man who fooled Penn and Teller' - John Archer.

What a great line up, make sure you're tuned in and ready to watch... Oh, and don't forget to tell the kids, as well...

You can follow John Archer and James Went on Twitter here:  @TheArchini @jameswent1981