In this episode we taught the secrets of our art to John Torrode and Gregg Wallace from Masterchef. It was a week of food and bad jokes (Gregg tells jokes almost non-stop.)
The Human Pea was a highlight of the series. Such fun to do and great when not only you sucker people with the trick but even the deliberate mistake suckers people too! Gregg had a system to remember what hole to out his head up through at what time. It sounded more complicated than it needed to be. I hurt him a couple of times because he still had his head in a tin that I wanted to slide.
What a true sport John was for hanging up on a rope at the Tate Modern. We gathered quite a sizable crowd doing this, including a few busloads of art students who wanted to speed sketch us. One time we did the trick, a girl had no credit on her phone so she wasn’t actually able to call her friend’s number whilst John had it. We can’t forsee everything can we!
We had the entire nation thinking of cheese. Gregg literally had a dozen cheese related jokes he could rattle off, to be honest, name almost any subject to him and he could tell you a dozen jokes about it. The more alert of you may have noticed that the barcode we used had our phone number underneath it… doing whatever it takes to subliminally influence the nation.
It is the last week next time and we have comedian Ed Byrne. If all goes well we can walk away the series winners, but for now here is what really goes on behind the scenes…
In the second episode of the series we teamed up with Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig-Revel Horwood and what resulted was a crazy mash up of glitter, guts, dancing and danger.
The show featured one of the biggest and most ambitious stunts that we have staged in our careers, in which we bundled Craig into the boot of a car and threw him and the car off a cliff. It was a genuinely really very risky, if things did not go to plan there was serious chance of hazard. I realise that magicians say that kind of thing all the time, but in this case it really was true.
We had one attempt at it, the whole sequence happened in one continuous shot and we only had one car laced with explosives. It could have potentially been the most expensive failure ever. If you look real close as the car gets to the cliff edge you can actually see the detonation cable for the explosives in the car trailing from the exhaust. This cable almost tripped me up right at the last moment. If I hadn’t managed to step over it there’s every chance it could have pulled me over with the car. Take a look for yourself in the video below.
Craig was a perfect match for one of our favourite routines, The Pirate Card Trick, in which we reluctantly danced the Pirate Shuffle. The dance seems to be catching on already with people posting their very own videos on YouTube of them doing the pirate dance, check them here and here
Finally, here’s a photo of me during the voice over recording of the internal thoughts for the Pirate Trick.
This year we are taking not one but two completely new shows to the Edinburgh Festival in August: ‘The Show’ and ‘The Tell’, collectively ‘Show and Tell’.
In “Show and Tell: The Show” (22:15 nightly) we will perform a brand new hour crammed full of astonishing, gruesome and surprising illusions. The show this year is bigger and more twisted than anything we have done previously. It is also the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken because this show has a twist, a devious second part to it in the form of a choice YOU will make of whether or not you want to find out how all of the tricks were done!
At midnight each night, we will exclusively reveal all the secrets behind the magic from that first show in a second show called ‘Show & Tell: The Tell.’ In this very special late-night event, if you choose to find out, you will be taken behind the scenes and be allowed to discover, for the first time ever, the hidden techniques behind our tricks and illusions.
We have purposefully chosen a small and intimate room for this midnight show, so while demand for these secrets may be high, only a very limited amount of people will be able to see how our magic was really done.
The Tell will only really make sense if you have first seen The Show, for that reason we ask that you must first attend The Show before coming to see The Tell.
We will be in Edinburgh from the 3rd – 28th August 2011. We advise seeing both shows on the same night and to do that you need to enter the same date for both shows when buying tickets. New days start at 7am in Edinburgh so late night shows starting on or after midnight are still counted as the same date.
Tickets can be purchased for ‘The Show’ at 22:15 in the E4 Cow Barn here
Tickets for ‘The Tell’ at midnight in The Wee Coo (Udderbelly Pasture) can be found here
You must first see ‘THE SHOW’ (22:15 E4 COW BARN) and will be asked to show proof of your attendance in order to gain entry at midnight to ‘THE TELL.’
For St. Patrick’s day here’s a head on beer perspective illusion, or the worlds most disgusting jacuzzi.
SPOILER ALERT: In the fifth and final episode of The Magicians we collaborated with actress, television presenter and all round lovely person, Angela Griffin.
In our effort to bring you the most sophisticated, cutting edge, technological trickery possible we created a quasi-historical illusion, “The Red Carpet Illusion.” Using Infra-Red camera technology we used thermal imaging to reveal to you the secret behind this illusion, literally giving you x-ray vision so you could see how the trick worked.
Fortunately for you, dear viewers, if you look especially closely at the thermal feed you might be able to make out our testicles. Surely making us the only presenters not only to expose their trick but also, their balls on prime-time TV.
Anyone who attended our 08/09 show Powered by Demons will have recognised this re-worked version of our Spirit Cabinet sequence, a favourite of ours purely because we love ghosts with wandering hand syndrome, it’s much more interesting when they throw things.
In this episode we also developed a trick utilising YouTube, which you can see on this very blog here.
Look into the future and see someone else predicting the future! Here is a sneak peek at this weeks episode of The Magicians, behold the “Angela Griffin YouTube Prediction.” It’s episode 5, the last one! If you want to check out the video prediction for yourself, which really was posted 4 days before we performed the trick, find it on YouTube here.
See you tomorrow at 7pm on BBC one.
SPOILER ALERT: In episode 4 of The Magicians we teamed up with Spandau Ballet bassist and actor Martin Kemp. For the show we filmed one of the worlds coolest optical illusions. An illusion that plays with our sense of scale and position because of ‘forced perspective’. While not strictly a magic trick we asked Martin to wear two eye-patches (which, in case you are wondering, is what happens to every pirate when he gets an eye infection) and then to sit in a certain position and remove one patch. With the vision from one eye only, Martin got to experience this wonderful optical illusion without having to look through a camera lens. He even got to try out this illusion for himself…
The theme of the episode was ‘Fairytales’ and not content with simply taking a trick from an existing fairlytale, like turning a pumpkin into a turd, or whatever it was, we set about penning our very own tale. We called it “The Sorcerers Apprentice… Martin Kemp.” We look forward to it becoming an instant classic. I hope you enjoyed it, especially since I tore the muscles in my crotch performing it. No joke, it still hurts.
There were three highlights whilst making this episode and all involved Rolf Harris:
An interesting piece of trivia for you: Rolf and Chris genuinely were not healthy enough to perform the forfeit and Lenny was too large to fall back and be caught by the on-stage assistants. So the N-Dubz bodyguard was enlisted literally at the last second after they quickly had him change out of his jeans and into a pair of trousers that would fit.
Next week we do what no magician should do, not expose themselves in public but expose their illusions in public. We’ll literally take you backstage with us and our hugely talented partner, actor Angela Griffin.
An interview we gave to spoonfed.co.uk is featured on their site today. The interview is about the séances that we are conducting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In it we mention that we captured a sort of human looking shape on camera during a recording of a preview. We thought we would post the image on the blog here so you can tell us what you think of it.
For us, as sceptical magician types, we know that the shape is just a glint of light against the camera lens. It only lasted for a second and in any of the other 24 frames in that second this is the only one in which it took a form which was vaguely human. But it is interesting how the brain wants to take random patterns of light like this and make something meaningful from them. Here is the image.
To see the full interview click here.
The Essential Magic Conference is going live on the internet in a minute. If you are a magician, or have any interest in magic, it is the most important thing you can do with 50 of your hard earned pounds this year. Registration is open here
The legendary and mighty Penn and Teller are in London for five nights only with what is, in our shared opinion the greatest magic show in the world ever. Actually that is not just our opinion, it is a cold and objective fact. It’s been years since they have performed in the UK and who knows if they will ever return, either way you will regret it fully and thoroughly if you don’t attend.
They are at the Hammersmith Apollo from the 14th – 18th July and tickets can be purchased here.